Cancun thrives during pandemic, welcomes 6.4 million tourists


Cancun continues to enjoy robust tourism in the midst of the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. The holiday hot spot recorded approximately 12.4 million domestic and international tourists in 2020, with over 6.4 million visiting during the last six months of the year, according to Mexico-based airport operating group ASUR.

While other vacation destinations have struggled in the wake of coronavirus-related travel restrictions, Cancun has thrived. Since it reopened to tourists in June, international travelers have flocked to the Mexican city in droves. Most of those tourists were Americans.

Since the pandemic began, Cancun has welcomed more than 2.9 million international tourists. Of the those travelers, 2.7 million were from the United States, 100,000 were from Canada and 100,000 were from other countries. The city also recorded 3.5 million domestic tourists over the same period.

In December, 1.6 million tourists visited the city, which is 69% of the 2.3 million who visited in December 2019.


Accessibility has played a major role in Cancun’s tourism recovery. Most major U.S. and Canadian cities offer non-stop flights to the destination, allowing tourists to reduce travel time and lower their risk of exposure to COVID-19.

Mexico is also one of only three countries in the Western Hemisphere that don’t make tourists quarantine or take COVID-19 tests. The country only requires travelers to sign a health declaration document.

Despite Mexico’s lack of travel restrictions, Cancun became the first tourist spot in the world to receive a “Safe Travels Seal” from the World Travel and Tourism Council. The designation means a destination uses global safety and hygiene protocols for COVID-19.

The country has seen 1,479,835 positive cases and 129,987 fatalities.

Under current health and safety rules, Cancun’s 145 reopened hotels can only operate at 60% of capacity. However, properties can apply for a special permit that allows up to 80% capacity.

Total hotel occupancy hit 54.2% over the holiday season, according to the Cancun City Council.