Kevin Eagan - Mar 8, 2021
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The Mexican city of Cancun welcomed 1.3 million visitors in January. At a time when many countries carry out coronavirus tests at airports, contact tracing and mandatory self-isolation, Mexican authorities announced a tourism revival in Cancun as well as faster procedures at Cancun airport.

On average, visitors took one to two minutes during the procedures at the airport to enter the country, reported the National Institute of Migration (INM).

“The INM works to maintain and provide prompt, quality and friendly care, with full respect for the human rights of people in the context of travel,” the agency said in a statement.

Even during the busiest hours, checkpoints at the Cancun airport processed nearly 9,000 tourists who arrived on dozens of flights.

Mexico has not recovered its performance levels before the pandemic. The total number of visitors who arrived at the Cancun airport, one of the busiest in the country, was about 1.3 million in January, 54.7% less than in the same month of 2020, when almost 2.3 million passengers visited the city.

But Mexico is one of the few countries in Latin America and in the world that has barely implemented travel restrictions due to the pandemic, and does not require COVID-19 tests or mandatory quarantine upon entering the country.

Passengers bound for Mexico must fill a questionnaire on the risk factors over a possible COVID-19 infection and their contact information.

International arrivals to Cancun were the most affected during January. However, domestic arrivals were reduced by only 18%.

Flights from the United States declined sharply last spring as the pandemic took hold, but returned to near-normal levels during the Christmas holidays. In December, Quintana Roo, the state where Cancun is located, had an average of 460 arrivals and departures a day compared to an average of 500 flights before the pandemic. In Quintana Roo, tourism accounts for 87% of the GDP.

It should be noted that despite the pandemic that has made the country one of the most affected countries due to the health emergency, Mexico became one of the favorite destinations.

According to data from the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Mexico was positioned as the most visited country in Latin America in 2020 for the second year in a row.

Likewise, it is estimated that next May it will go from seventh to third place worldwide. However, for analyst Melisa Murialdo, this tourism revival must be seen as “temporary” given the restrictions and travel alerts, as reported earlier by local media.

Its new place on the ranking may not be permanent due to the situation (countries like Turkey went down a lot), but it is a faithful reflection of the importance of Mexico and the country’s continuous prevalence in the industry.

At the global level, the UNWTO registered a 71.9% drop in 2020. In this area, Mexico registered a decrease of 46.5%, which is small compared to that of China (-84%), Thailand (-79%) and Spain (-76%).

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