Getting to Know Quintana Roo
You know Cancun and Riviera Maya, but are you familiar with the state of Quintana Roo? If the name hasn’t been on your radar—and that of your clients—it soon will be.
In June, the state announced the creation of the Quintana Roo Tourism Board, a new entity designed to promote destinations big and small throughout the Mexican Caribbean—including the well-known Cancun and Riviera Maya; up-and-coming Playa del Carmen and Puerto Morelos; the islands of Cozumel, Isla Mujeres and Holbox; Tulum, a daytrip and destination in its own right; and (for the moment) less familiar names like Akumal, Sian Ka’an and Bacalar.
Led by tourism veteran Dario Flota Ocampo, the new tourism board will present a unified promotional strategy for the state and its many tourist attractions. “While each destination will maintain its unique identity, the role of the new Quintana Roo Tourism Board will be to showcase the strengths of the state as a whole while highlighting all the different components that make it one of Mexico’s most sought-after vacation spots,” says Flota Ocampo.
And the numbers confirm that. According to the most recent stats from the Quintana Roo Tourism Board, 16.9 million visitors traveled to the Mexican Caribbean in 2017, up 5.3 percent from the previous year. With strong numbers already in play for this year, the tourism board expects to end this year surpassing the number of tourists in 2017 and with the addition of approximately 4,000 new hotel rooms.
Flota Ocampo also notes that the new tourism board is eager to partner with travel agents, and focused on providing agents the tools they need, from new technological tools to key information on the state’s many developments and selling points. Here’s a first look at some of what’s on in the Mexican Caribbean now—keep an eye open for more news, selling points and highlights throughout the year in Travel Weekly and TravelAge West print and digital.
Tulum on the Rise
A popular draw for A-listers like Reese Witherspoon, Drew Barrymore and Cameron Diaz, Tulum also works its magic on everyday folks—so much so, in fact, that earlier this year, visits to the iconic waterfront Mayan ruins in Tulum even surpassed those to Chichén Itzá, making it the second most visited site in all of Mexico.
Easily accessible from popular spots throughout the Mexican Caribbean, Tulum refers to 3 adjacent areas—the majestic ruins; the bustling pueblo with shops, cafes and affordable hotels; and the beach, home to low-key luxury hotels and yoga retreats.
Clients can stop by the ruins for a day of Mayan immersion and beach fun, or base at one of the area’s hotels for a more leisurely experience.
X MARKS THE SPOT
The eagerly anticipated Hotel Xcaret has already made its mark on the region, boasting 90% occupancy in the first months after its December 2017 debut. With 900 suites, the mega-resort seamlessly integrates modern luxury with a traditional Mayan flair, all with a focused eco-consciousness in keeping with its jungle setting.
The “all-fun inclusive” resort is the latest from Experiences Xcaret Group, with the added bonus of unlimited access, including luxury transportation, to the group’s nature parks and tours, which include Xcaret, Xel-Há, Xplor, Xplor Fuego, Xoximilco and Xenses, as well as the Xenotes and Xichén tours.
On site, guests will find a vibrant celebration of the region, with traditional resort features like 10 restaurants and eight bars, Muluk Spa & Wellness center, three gyms, kids club, meeting facilities and a wedding chapel interspersed with infinity pools, white sand beaches, coves, rivers, caves and a forest.
Next up is a luxury eco-boutique hotel, La Casa de la Playa, set to open in summer 2019 with 63 suites featuring private plunge pools, four restaurants, two pools, a spa and more. The development will eventually have 6,000 guest rooms on more than 900 acres.
For more information about what's on in the Mexican Caribbean, check out the websites for Cancun and Riviera Maya. And keep your eyes open for ongoing updates, news, promotions and more in Travel Weekly and TravelAge West digital and print.
Riviera Maya: RivieraMaya.com/en