January 10, 2014

Is it Time for Flights to Cancun from the RGV?


According to an article published in, Cancun and the Riviera Maya closed the year 2012 with 98 percent of hotel occupancy positioning this destination as number one in all of Mexico and Latin America.

Visitors from the United States topped the list with 1,630,065 visitors followed by Mexican Nationals with 1,400, 393, followed by Canadians, Europeans and visitors from Latin America. But there is an interesting fact, according to a Marketing Consultants report, which shows American and European visitors do not shop the malls in Cancun unlike the Mexican nationals who continue to shop at the same rates as ten years ago.  Visitors from Latin America also tend to shop and visit Cancun’s retail shops.

With over 1.6 million visitors last year, it is estimated that the economic impact from American visitors, recorded at 66.6 million dollars is 64.4% less than the impact generated by the Mexican visitors who generated a 109.3 million dollar economic impact. These numbers are presented on an individual basis resulting in $40.87 spent per American visitor, and $78.02 spent per Mexican visitor in 2012, and this is only the numbers recorded for Cancun.  All-inclusive resorts favored by the American market appear to be the reason for the low turnouts in retail establishments around Cancun.

According to the same article, the state’s Governor Roberto Borge Angulo informed that 17 million people visited Cancun and the Riviera Maya last year. Some may find these numbers hard to believe considering the violent situation that Mexico is enduring, but all the resources point to an increase in tourism in Mexico’s Riviera Maya for 2013.  But even more interesting is the fact that the 14 million arrived via the Cancun’s airport, and the rest arrived on a cruise ship, buses and private vehicles.

Governor Angulo attributed the success to intense marketing promotions done by the state, the cities and the tourism industry of the region throughout the year in both national and international markets.

Here in the Rio Grande Valley, there is always talk about bringing international flights to service Mexico City and Monterrey, Mexico; maybe it’s time to think about service to Cancun.  There are currently ten flights per day departing to Mexico City each day from our region. One leaves from the McAllen International airport, and the rest leave from the neighboring border towns of Matamoros and Reynosa, Mexico. Some of these flights cost less than 300 dollars for a round trip ticket. We can safely say the market to Mexico City is saturated, and it is not bad, for there are millions of potential visitors in this huge metropolis

Maybe it’s time to consider the thousands of Mexican nationals who have relocated – legally- to the Valley, and offer a non-stop flight to Cancun. With over 3  million people living in this border region, and according to the statistics presented here, a flight to Cancun may be a better option for any of the three Valley airports.

Sun Country Airlines offers seasonal flights to Valley International Airport. According to their website, they offer non-stop flights to Cancun from Minneapolis and the Dallas Fort Worth airport. Is it time to consider a flight from Harlingen, Texas, to Cancun?

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About the Author

Nydia O
A bird does not sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.-Maya Angelou. La Vida Valle is where I write about "la vida" my life in the Rio Grande Valley. From this bi-cultural corner on the tip of Texas, I share my poems and my spiritual and travel experiences. I also blog about the arts, nature and my passion for historic preservation and architecture. But most importantly, let's talk about "la vida" - living our lives - in a vacation state of mind. Contributions and comments are always welcome .



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