Cancun/Riviera Maya continues growth as international tourist hub
CANCUN — According to new data from the Mexican government, Cancun/Riviera Maya is continuing its strong growth trend that began more than a decade ago. For just the first half of 2016, for example, nearly 11 million people flew into and out of the Cancun International Airport. That represents almost an 8 percent increase from one year ago.
Mexican officials have confirmed the status of Cancun/Riviera Maya as one of the nation’s fastest growing tourist destinations.
Besides the obvious, there are in fact many reasons to visit Cancun. For example, the city features some of the best and most diverse cuisine in Mexico. A truly international culinary culture caters to every taste under the sun. Seafood (of course) is the best of the best, as are the local vegetable dishes, Italian specialties, sushi, curries and soups from around the world, pizza, pasta and the standard American “burger and fries.” Cancun’s international flavor is one of the many characteristics that attract repeat visitors.
Often forgotten amid the discussion of beaches and wonderful food is the incredible wildlife in the greater Cancun/Riviera Maya area. Nature lovers come back year after year to study and observe the marine life and gorgeous coral reefs. Indeed, there are hundreds of tropical species that even an amateur can view up close. Endangered sea turtles and lemon sharks are but two of the unique aquatic denizens that ply the waters of Cancun, the city that seems to be all things to all people.
Besides world class shopping, Cancun’s most enduring attraction, and the key reason for its booming tourism industry, is its ideal year-round weather. Aside from a few tropical storms, the temperatures are always beach-friendly, and the water always seems to be just the right temperature for swimming, diving and snorkeling. The Yucatan Peninsula is one of the world’s most temperate climate zones, which explains a lot about the area’s growing tour trade and image as one of the globe’s best beach locales.
Ancient ruins and 2,000-year-old temples are only a few minutes from the sunny beaches of Cancun and on down the coast to Playa del Carmen, which means that the distant past is always within reach. Cancun/Riviera Maya is much more than it appears. It is a true gem of Mexican culture that offers historical and adventure experiences for those who are up to the challenge.
Cancun/Riviera Maya has something for everyone. The Yucatan Peninsula is a global travel destination, as are the ruins of Tulum, while places like Puerto Morelos offer a small-town charm that is hard to find in many tourist areas.