There are some destinations around the world that are synonymous with certain types of travel. Paris is the city of love and is popular for couples on a romantic vacation; The Maldives immediately conjure up images of ultra-luxury holidays; and Rome is the place to go for endless ancient history.
For Cancun, the reputation has long been as a party town, particularly over Spring break as thousands of American college kids descend on the city for weeks of drunkenness and debauchery. It is an image that has been perpetuated by frat-boy movies and reality TV and has turned many other types of tourists off ever visiting Cancun.
But in reality, anyone that has visited Cancun will know that it is so much more than the stereotype that has been fostered. Granted, over Spring break many travelers may still prefer to avoid the area, but that still leaves 10 or 11 months of the year when tourists can enjoy all the city has to offer.
Cancun’s enduring popularity with Americans was highlighted last month when Expedia’s Annual Travel Trends Report revealed it was the most searched for destination for 2021 vacations. Indeed, Mexico dominated the rankings, with Riviera Maya, Playa del Carmen and Tulum placed second behind Cancun, Los Cabos in ninth, and Puerto Vallarta 14th in the top 20.
Cancun taking COVID seriously
Expedia’s report and Cancun’s top ranking suggests two things: firstly, Mexico in general and Cancun in particular are highly desirable destinations for all types of travelers from the United States; and secondly, there appears to be high levels of confidence in how resort towns like Cancun are combating the coronavirus pandemic.
Although subject to change, Mexico has implemented a “stoplight” system across the country to control the spread of COVID-19, with Yucatán currently in the “orange” section. This means face masks are mandatory in public and limited capacity is in place for hotels, restaurants, and gyms (50%), markets and supermarkets (75%), and shopping malls, theatres, cinemas, and cultural events (25%).
Such measures have encouraged international tourists, especially Americans, to either visit, or plan visits, to Cancun. With its spectacular beaches, food, beautiful winter weather, and convenient connectivity, it’s no surprise that Cancun is the preferred choice of many.
And fear not: for first-time visitors, let it be known that Cancun delivers luxury every bit as impressive as other paradise destinations. In fact, Cancun has more than 50 five-star resorts to choose from, many of which are offering incredible early deals for 2021 in an attempt to boost tourism.
Luxury resorts for all tourist types
One of Cancun’s most famous resorts, The Grand at Moon Palace, is the ultimate in comfort and luxury, and for those with the finances of a Mexico lottery jackpot winner, the Grand Presidential Suite is the one for you (a one-week stay can exceed $27,000). Elsewhere, Cancun has a number of Adults-Only luxury resorts specifically catered to couples seeking peace, quiet, and tranquility, while there are also golf resorts and plenty of world-class spa resorts all along the coastline.
In a clear sign that Cancun is successfully shedding its ‘Spring break’ reputation, a handful of international hotel chains have opened resorts over the past decade, including The Westin, Ritz-Carlton, and Intercontinental.
In line with its luxury resort offerings, Cancun is no stranger to fine dining restaurants. While much like the rest of Mexico, street food is famously among the best in the world, Cancun has become a hotspot for exceptional contemporary cuisine. Three restaurants – Le Braslic, The Club Grill, and Fantino – have all been awarded the prestigious AAA Five Diamond status, while a further five restaurants – Benazuza, Gustino Italian Grill, Indochine, La Punta Grill & Lounge, and Ramona – all possess Four Diamonds.
If any further vindication was required to demonstrate Cancun’s position as more than a party town, it was announced in November that the annual World Travel & Tourism Council Global Summit would be held there in March in a first-of-its-kind physical/virtual hybrid conference.
With airways now reopened between Cancun and most major international cities, plenty of deals to take advantage of, and private resorts and local government implementing vigilant measures to ensure the safety of tourists and residents alike, now is the opportune time to visit – and there won’t be a Spring break party in sight.
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