Cancun,the jewel in Mexico's tourism crown,is celebrating its 40th birthday this year.
The beach and resort mecca was founded by the Mexican government with the aim of creating an attractive destination that would detonate the local economy.
Today,by all measures,it can be considered a roaring success.
As well as hotels and resorts, Cancun real estate has also soared in popularity and value and many visitors today stay in their own vacation properties or rentals.
Although hard hit by health scares and the global financial crisis last year,tourism in Cancun has bounced back in 2010,with Easter seeing record numbers of flights at Cancun international airport and almost 100% occupancy at many hotels.
Modern Cancun was first conceived in 1968 when Mexico’s central bank sought to duplicate the success of tourism at Acapulco on the Pacific coast.
The areas turquoise Caribbean waters and miles of unspoiled white sand beaches led President Gustavo Diaz Ordaz to support the ambitious project in 1970,and work began.
Today,an incredible range of Cancun real estate stands on what used to be wild mangrove,jungle and desolate coastline. Some 19 miles (30km) of dreamy Caribbean beaches are now admired by the guests in the high class hotels and resorts that line it.
As well as hotels and resorts,there is an enviable selection of shopping malls and over 500 restaurants. Add to that recipe the amazing nightlife provided by the areas countless bars and nightclubs,and it's obvious why Cancun is so popular with visitors that want to relax and party,alike.
The climate makes Cancun real estate and hotels attractive too,especially for North Americans looking to escape the winter blues. With an average temperature of 80F (27C) it's no wonder that around 4 million tourists visit every year to enjoy water-sports,nature reserves,theme parks and the historical Mayan ruins of Tulum and Chichen Itza close-by.
Today,40 years after its birth,Cancun is truly an impressive feat of government sponsored economic development,that many other countries around the world seek to emulate. And with many of last year's fantastic vacation deals and discounts still available,there's never been a better time to visit than in this anniversary year.