In 2015, the Cancún airport in Mexico received up to 80% of British tourists visiting the country, more than 30% of North American tourists, almost 50% of Spanish tourists, and nearly 40% of the visitors from major South American markets like Argentina and Colombia i.e. practically 40% of foreign tourists visiting Mexico.
The geographical position of the Cancún International Airport, its proximity to the East Coast of the United States, provides it an advantage in the US market, and in the case of Europe and South America, it also has the best connections to direct flights, so it is the main gateway to both markets, according to Jesús Almaguer, Director of the Convention and Visitors Bureau.
According to the annual report by the Integrated System on Migration Operations (SIOM), the federal government, which monitors the number of foreign tourists entering the country both by nationality and by airport, Cancún has become the terminal with the highest volume of international passengers, with more than 40% of travelers from the top 12 international markets coming to Mexico, including American, Canadian, and British tourists.
In the case of the American visitors, who represent by far the largest market for Mexico, at the end of 2015 the tourist arrivals stood at 8.3 million, of which 3.5 million came through the Cancún International Airport, i.e. almost 35% of that total.
In order of importance, Canada follows with 1.7 million tourists, of which Cancún picked up 970,210, representing more than 50% of this market.
Victor Hugo Rubio Duarte, a Ministry of Tourism official, said that the contribution of destinations in Quintana Roo was decisive in allowing Mexico to rise among the top ten countries most visited internationally. Not only did it make a great contribution to the figure of 33 million foreign tourists that Mexico received in 2015, but it also allowed Mexico to move up five places among the countries where the economic impact of tourism is the highest.
In this regard, he said that the Tourism Ministry expects Mexico to be able to climb at least two more places to be among the seven countries receiving the largest volume of foreign tourists.
At this point, the UK ranks third among the countries from which most tourists come to Mexico, following several years when this market collapsed dramatically. In 2015, 506,000 British tourists arrived in Mexico, of which 400,000 came through the Cancún terminal, representing more than 75% of this market.
The UK is followed by Colombia which displaced Argentina as the South American country sending the most tourists to Mexico. Of the 407,000 Colombians who came to Mexico in 2015, 180,000 did so through the Mexican Caribbean, which amounts to more than 30% of that total.
France and Germany sent almost the same number of tourists to Mexico in 2015: 222,000 and 222,500, respectively. Of that total, Cancún picked up 35% and 34% respectively.