As we first reported in early December of last year,the Mexican Caribbean state of Quintana Roo has adopted a new time zone – effective February 1st – that makes the most of daylight hours in popular vacation destinations like Cancun,Cozumel Playa del Carmen and Tulum. Last Sunday,the clocks throughout Mexico’s Riviera Maya were set one hour ahead,which means Quintana Roo is now on the Southeastern Time Zone,which is the equivalent of Eastern Standard Time in the U.S.
“For all intents and purposes,the change,which was approved by Mexico’s Chamber of Deputies,puts Quintana Roo on Daylight Savings Time for the entire year,” writes TravelPulse. “The move is expected to enhance air connectivity,with Quintana Roo operating on the same time zone as many U.S. east coast airports from which it derives a formidable amount of business.”
The new time zone will also put Quintana Roo on the same time zone as other popular destinations throughout the region,including the Bahamas,Cuba,Jamaica and Puerto Rico. The change comes after more than two years of work by state government officials and local business owners. Although every day will (obviously!) have the same number of actual daylight hours,the time change will mean that the region will benefit from an extra hour or more of sun during the afternoon and early evening each day. Tourism officials hope this will lead to people spending extra time on the Riviera Maya’s famed beaches,golf courses and outdoors enjoying its many other amazing activities.
“Cancun is excited to welcome this time change,which will allow our visitors to take advantage of one more hour in our beautiful destination,” shared Jesus Almaguer,CEO of the Cancun Convention & Visitor’s Bureau,in a press release. “The added sunlight should also generate reductions in electricity use for hotels and restaurants in the area,which alights with Cancun’s turquoise conservation initiative.”
The state of Quintana Roo is home to the Cancun International Airport,which welcomes a large number of daily non-stop flights from all over the eastern U.S. and the world. The Riviera Maya is also home to a unique array of fantastic amenities,which are unrivaled in other resort destinations worldwide,along with incredible Mayan ruins,such as those found at Coba and Tulum. Of course,the entire Mexican Caribbean coast is dotted with exclusive luxury resorts,which are found here and there along mile after mile of pristine white sand beaches,which overlook the stunning turquoise waters where the world’s second largest barrier reef is located.
“Watersports,especially fishing and diving,are world class,and the area has a broad slate of top quality golf courses by leading designers such as Greg Norman and Jack Nicklaus,” writes Forbes. “Culture,food,sports,activities and first rate lodging define the area,making it the most popular tourism destination in all of Mexico.”