With 350 days of sun and an average temperature of 78 degrees, it comes as no surprise that Los Cabos welcomes more than two million international visitors each year. That’s not to say the desirable climate is the only thing the destination, which sits on the southern tip of Mexico’s Baja Peninsula, has going for it. Located on the shores of the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Cortez, the landscape sets the scene for a myriad of activities -- fishing, golfing, surfing, kayaking, and snorkeling, among others. And while sunny, stunning, and activity-packed are all great ways to describe Los Cabos, this year, the region also proved its resilience.
Recent negative headlines, natural disasters like Tropical Storm Lydia, and a travel warning from the U.S. State Department have not stopped travelers from visiting Los Cabos. In fact, new data released from the Los Cabos Tourism Board and Hotel Association of Los Cabos revealed that the destination saw a six percent surge in hotel occupancy during the peak summer months of June through August, compared to the same period in 2016. This year, passenger arrivals in Los Cabos increased 17.3 percent in January through September, compared to 2016, and international visitation numbers rose even higher at 17.7 percent during the same time frame.
“The data sends a strong signal that Los Cabos continues to be an attractive destination for tourists and investors alike,” says Rodrigo Esponda, managing director of Los Cabos Tourism Board. “Like any destination, travel is cyclical and there are a number of issues that influence tourism, including economic, environmental, and social factors. The new data underscores Los Cabos’ rare strength as a destination where 7 out of 10 visitors are repeat guests and 90 percent of first-time visitors say they would return.”
The U.S. ranks first among foreign visitors to Mexico, with 83.2 percent of all foreign tourist arrivals, according to Esponda. California (50.4 percent), Texas (13.9 percent) and Washington (4.3 percent) are the three top states represented. Following the U.S., Canada and Australia rank second and third, respectively, as main sourcing markets.
Los Cabos has also responded to the security challenges this year in a number of ways. “Los Cabos has taken swift and aggressive measures to intensify security measures across the destinations,” says Esponda. “This year alone, the public and private sector have invested more than $47 million to increase security personnel, equipment, and infrastructure. We have also enacted a five-point security action plan in a joint private and public sector effort that includes the launch of a new marine base, adding more than 200 new cameras for the expansion of our surveillance system network, a new hotel security committee, implementing security training protocols aligned with Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) standards, and activating a rapid response network for real-time communications between local hoteliers and businesses.”
Esponda adds, “As an economy that is driven almost entirely by tourism, we are keenly focused on the factors that matter the most to today’s traveler -- people, experiences, and peace of mind.” For now, that seems to be working, as Los Cabos continues to climb as a popular tourist destination.
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