The 2014 Orbitz Summer Travel Forecast is out, showing the world’s hottest vacation spots and travel trends for this year. Once again,Mexico is at the top of the list, with Cancun being named the top destination for American travelers, according to bookings.
“Orbitz senior editor Jeanenne Tornatore says the travel website’s survey also finds 88 percent of Americans will plan real vacations this year,” writes the Associated Press. “Orbitz bookings show the Mexican resort of Cancun as the top destination.”
Cancun lies on Mexico’s Caribbean coast and is the gateway to the famed Riviera Maya, which extends more than 80 miles south along the coast from Cancun, through the chic beach towns of Playa del Carmen,Puerto Aventuras and Tulum, among others. The city is so much more than just a spring breaker’s dream, offering world class dining, shopping, diving and easy access to some of the world’s most impressive ancient Mayan cities.
The Orbitz survey also shows that tourism itself is on the rise in general, with more people planning longer vacations and “trading up for some bigger destinations.” According to Tornatore, air travel is also up this year, rising at least six percent compared to 2013.
Canadian travelers are also increasing the frequency and length of their vacations this year, with the Winnipeg Airports Authority (WAA) reporting that more than 137,000 Canadians passed through its gates from January through March, many of whom were headed to Mexico where they could easily, quickly and affordably escape the frigid northern winter temps.
“The number of flights to Mexico by a number of providers was very strong,” said Barry Rempel, president and CEO of the WAA. “That’s up 5.6 percent from a year ago.”
It’s really not surprising that Cancun is tops among international travelers. In addition to everything we’ve already named, it’s also home to some of the world’s finest hotels, entertainment, nightlife and a wide variety of other natural wonders. For example, the world’s second largest coral reef lies just offshore, and each year between May and September the annual whale shark migration makes it possible for visitors to swim with the ocean’s largest fish (don’t worry, it’s safer than it sounds!).
If you’re headed to Cancun and trying to decide where to stay, check out Condé Nast Traveler’s 2014 list of the top resorts in the region, or you can opt to stay in a private condo or villa that is owned by one of the tens of thousands of expats from around the world who call this part of Mexico “home” for at least part of every year.
In addition,Cancun is one of the safest places to visit internationally, according to TripAdvisor. In fact, even in the areas that are not specifically geared toward tourism, the atmosphere in and around Cancun is similar to what you would find in any other modern urban environment.
“Cancun’s Hotel Zone and the city Downtown areas frequented by tourists and locals alike are amongst the safest places to travel in Mexico,” writes TripAdvisor. "[These areas] are known throughout Mexico for their low crime rate. Major crime involving tourists is almost non-existent.”
Finally, the Wall Street Journal reports that total passenger traffic in Mexico increased year-over-year by 6.16 percent, according to ASUR, which operates the Cancun International Airport and eight others in the southeast of Mexico. An impressive 6.54 percent out of the total 6.90 percent growth in international passenger traffic resulted from a rise in travelers visiting the Cancun International Airport.