March produced improved hotel occupancy across most of Mexico’s markets, but beach destinations continued to lead the country’s recovery, according to data from STR.
Overall, Mexico’s March occupancy came in at 37.0%, up from 28.3% in February and 26.4% in January. Popular spring break spots for U.S. students, Cancun (49.0%) saw the highest level in the metric, followed by Acapulco (46.8%). Occupancy was even higher later in the month. During 14-20 March, Acapulco reached 58.9% occupancy, while Cancun reported a level of 52.8%. The following week, Cancun was up to 53.4%, while Acapulco came in at 48.9%.
Other popular beach destinations, such as Puerto Vallarta and Playa del Carmen, experienced March occupancy levels of 42.8% and 40.3%, respectively. Los Cabosshowed the lowest occupancy level among the beach markets at 37.8%.
“While its neighbor to the north showed substantial improvement last summer and into the early fall, Mexico didn’t experience a solid lift in occupancy until the recent winter months,” said Emile Gourieux, business development executive at STR. “Similar to what we’ve seen across the globe during this pandemic era, leisure travelers are less attracted to the busy, urban cities and prefer the wide open, outdoor spaces. Combine that predilection with Mexico’s warm weather and spring break popularity, the result was a distinct advantage for beach destinations.”
Among Mexico’s urban markets, Guadalajara was the standout at 38.1%. Oaxaca and the Monterrey Area also surpassed the 30% level, at 37.4% and 35.0%, respectively.
After two months below 20%, Puebla (24.0%) and Mexico City (22.8%) were able to surpass the threshold.
“We are likely to see this trend of higher performance in the beach markets continue throughout 2021, as the urban markets that rely heavily on group and business demand continue to wait for meaningful recovery in those segments. As U.S. vaccinations ramp up, we expect the ensuing travel confidence to help Mexico as more American leisure travelers take advantage of short flights and less barriers to entry.”