According to a new survey released Oct. 29 by the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA), the popular vacation destination of Cancun, which also serves as the gateway to Mexico’s famed Riviera Maya region, will emerge the clear winner as the top destination for international travelers during the 2014-2015 winter season.
“Cancun came out as the winter vacation destination desired by our member’s clients for obvious reasons,” said Zane Kirby, ASTA president and CEO in a press release. “Cancun is easily accessible from the U.S., has a plethora of all-inclusive resorts, a warm climate and beautiful beaches.”
The survey findings* were based on actual bookings by members of ASTA and show that Cancun was chosen by 24 percent of respondents, while Mexico’s adjacent Riviera Maya region (which is located immediately south of Cancun) also made the Top 10 list of this winter’s most popular international destinations, coming in at number eight.
Mexico Tourism Revenues Surge
This news follows on the heels of a mid-October announcement by Mexico’s Tourism Secretariat that international tourism revenues nationwide have surged more than 18 percent this year, following an analysis of recent Bank of Mexico figures.
“Mexico’s revenues from international tourism totaled $11.3 billion in the January-August period, up 18.1 percent from the same period in 2013,” stated the tourism secretariat. “Foreign tourists generated revenues of $9.42 billion during the first eight months of last year.”
The total number of international tourists also increased during this period, rising to hit 19.3 million, up 19 percent. Air traffic spiked accordingly, rising 10.3 percent to hit 9.3 million.
Autumn & Winter in Cancun & Riviera Maya,Mexico
Why should you consider visiting Cancun and the Riviera Maya this fall and winter? Truth is, the reasons are virtually endless, kicking off with the daily dose of near-perfect weather, affordable room rates, cheap flights and a wide variety of other travel discounts. These perks are plentiful from late fall through early March, which U.S. News & World Report says is “the best time to visit.”
Annual events held in the region each autumn include the Isla Holbox Gastronomic Festival in mid-October, which always features an impressive array of visiting chefs mixed with the best local masters and features an eclectic blend of Caribbean flavors, fresh seafood and international dishes.
Each year from Oct. 31-Nov. 2 Cancun and the many cities, towns and villages that are located throughout the Riviera Maya will host a variety of Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebrations, which always has a special emphasis on honoring deceased loved ones and celebrating their spirits.
The Caribbean Culture Festival spans one week every year in mid-November and was just named one of only “9 Must-See International Fall Events,” by Travel Pulse this Sept. The festival offers activities at venues throughout the city of Cancun and other parts of the surrounding Riviera Maya region. Events include Caribbean music performances, salsa dancing, Mexican poetry readings and art exhibits by Latin American and Caribbean artists.
“Cancun has an abundance of beachside thrills, but there’s more to this Mexican city than its barefoot pleasures,” writes Travel Pulse. “The International Caribbean Cultural Festival is a celebration that dives full-force into the heritage of Mexico.”
Next, the Riviera Maya Jazz Festival comes to Playa del Carmen each year in late Nov.,featuring three nights of free world-class jazz under the moonlit sky upon the white sand of Playa Mamitas beach near the sparkling shores of the Mexican Caribbean.
“Among the jazz legends and Grammy winners who have appeared in its 11 years are George Duke, Four Play,S ergio Mendes and Herbie Hancock,” writes the San Francisco Gate.
*Survey data was collected from July-August, 2014 by the ASTA Research Family and has a 95 percent rate confidence with an error rate of +/-5 percent.