Mexico’s hugely popular Caribbean-fronting state of Quintana Roo is kickstarting its tourist trade now that the number of coronavirus cases in the jurisdiction is on a downward swing.
Quintana Roo Tourism Board director Dario Flota told a Thursday webinar that current “low numbers” of coronavirus cases in the state prompted authorities to decide that it’s “safe to reopen” to tourism.
Coronavirus concerns led authorities earlier this year to ask would-be tourists to delay their vacations, saying “Paradise Can Wait.”
Flota said widespread safety precautions are being taken throughout the state, which includes the likes of Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Cozumel. For instance, Cancun and Cozumel airports will be enforcing social distancing, have thermal cameras that can read temperatures, be distributing health questionnaires and regularly sanitizing buildings and vehicles.
New hotel practices include having staff wear masks and doing away with self-serve food.
About 30% of Quintana Roo hotel rooms are available now. That’s expected to rise to 45% June 15.
Flota said some U.S. airlines continued serving Cancun throughout the pandemic and more service is expected soon.
He said air service to Cancun from this country is expected to restart in July, although he didn’t name which carriers he expects to restart service that month.
Holland America will be the first cruise company to return to Quintana Roo waters, with July being the return month. That month will also see Disney and MSC return.
Other cruise companies that have announced plans to return include Celebrity, NCL and Royal Caribbean, all of which will return in August, and Carnival, which will return in September.
Tourism officials are promoting the state with a campaign called the “Mexican Caribbean — the Best of Two Worlds” and are among other things touting the region”s “authenticity” and varied experiences.
Flota said Quintana Roo nature remains healthy.
Quintana Roo tourism officials plan to reach out to travel agents, in part through webinars.
The state is perennially popular, with both Cancun and the Riviera Maya hosting over 6 million visitors in 2019.