Los Cabos Tourism in Full Recovery
The Los Cabos Tourism Board is touting a remarkable 100 percent recovery of its travel and tourism activity with a 20 percent growth in tourism arrivals managed in the last quarter from July to September 2021 as compared to the same period in 2019. In September 2021 alone, Los Cabos showed nearly 118,000 international arrivals – marking its most successful September month ever with a 40 percent increase in international arrivals compared to 2019.
Los Cabos is Mexico’s leading destination in tourism recovery and logging in some 20 percentage points higher in visitation recovery numbers in September 2021 compared to Mexico’s other top tourism destinations. The strong indicators are connected to Los Cabos’ safety-focused approach to recovery that included color-coded classification systems managed by hotels, restaurants, bars, tours, and convention centers, determining safety levels and openings/closings, complemented by strongly enforced social distancing protocols – all leading to certifications by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC).
As a result of its recovery, the destination has been able to recuperate all of its formal hospitality jobs, which are critical to the tourism activity of Los Cabos. The COVID-19 health and safety protocols included the adoption of the destination’s community vaccination program, resulting in near 90 percent vaccination numbers for the population aged 18+ in having received at least one dose to date.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has been challenging for travel destinations across the world and we are energized to see Los Cabos achieve a full recovery since tourism is at the heart of what we do,” said Rodrigo Esponda, Managing Director of the Los Cabos Tourism Board. “We will hold tight to the health and safety efforts that got us here. As we head into the holiday season of higher travel activity, it’s our goal to continue to offer the same safer travel environment.”
More Flights to Los Cabos
Looking ahead, there is a 45 percent increase in scheduled seats from the U.S. to the Los Cabos International Airport taking place in the next six months – November to April — vis-a-vis to the same timeframe in 2019 to 2020. Similarly, forecasted bookings for the final winter months of 2021 are estimated to boost the destination to not only reach, but surpass, pre-pandemic levels. To that end, Los Cabos is continuing to see a trend in short booking windows with reservations secured only one month out.
Currently, there are some 500 weekly direct flights to Los Cabos with direct connectivity from 24 U.S. cities in place for this winter season. Increases in scheduled seats the next six months (compared to 2019) are seen mostly in these gateway cities:
*LAX (+73.9 percent)
*PHX (+49.4 percent)
*HOU (+31.1 percent)
*DFW (+33.1 percent)
*DEN (+102.3 percent)
*SEA (+64.9 percent)
International visitors are flowing from four main source cities in the next four months:
• Los Angeles (21 percent of the market)
• Dallas/Fort Worth (11 percent of the market)
• Houston (11 percent of the market)
• Phoenix (9 percent of the market)
Newer discount airlines are getting in on the action as well. Swoop Airlines, for instance, considered an “ultra low-cost carrier,” is launching routes from Edmonton and Toronto in Canada to the Baja, twice weekly from Toronto and once a week from Edmonton, for as low as $139 CAD each way starting November 20.
Accommodations in Los Cabos
While the resort destination showed a 52 percent occupancy rate across hotels in September 2021 average daily hotel rates in September 2021 were $276 USD vs. $244 USD in September 2019, combining demand with safety and social distancing protocols in place.
Private flights to Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo skyrocketed this year — up 48 percent in March 2021 alone relative to the same month in 2019. Private vacation villa rentals have also been given their time in the sun as families and pods of friends and relatives anxious to get away during the pandemic found safe and scintillating haven in large estate homes near the beach along Baja’s Golden Corridor, where groups could party and relax along the Sea of Cortez.
As for new hotel development, here are the ones to watch:
*Villa La Valencia Beach Resort & Spa Los Cabos – December 2021
*The St. Regis Los Cabos Resort – 2023
*Hotel Park Hyatt Los Cabos – 2023
*A 2nd Four Seasons Resort and Residences Cabo San Lucas at Cabo del Sol – late 2023
*Amanvari – 2024
Los Cabos: More Things to Do
In 2021, Los Cabos travelers have been most interested in a mix of outdoor adventure, luxury and personalized experiences that are environmentally safe and give back to the local community.
Going into 2022, however, the destination expects to see a rise in conscious travel with visitors looking for sustainable and environmentally friendly experiences. This includes activities, such as farm-to-table dining, sea turtle preservation programs, conscious use and respect for Los Cabos’ 22 Blue Flag-certified beaches, and choosing eco-friendly hospitality.
Los Cabos, located at the tip of the 1,000-mile long Baja Peninsula, is one of the world’s most diverse tourism destinations encompassing a dramatic desert backdrop abutted by coastlines of the Pacific Ocean and Sea of Cortez. It adds to that a growing list of championship golf courses, rejuvenating spas, legendary sport fishing tournaments, and state of the art convention facilities.
Why Visit Los Cabos Instead of Cozumel this Summer
For luxury vacations overlooking crystal clear waters and stunning skies in Mexico, there are often two standout locations: Los Cabos and Cozumel. The decision can be tough, considering both locations are truly breathtaking, but we think Los Cabos is the better way to go. Of course, this depends on what you’re looking for. For adventure, hiking, ruins, and snorkeling, Cozumel might be your spot. But if you’re looking to indulge in luxury, relax and take in gorgeous sights with top-tier food and drink, we suggest Los Cabos.
Beat the Crowds
For one, Los Cabos feels much bigger, with more nooks and crannies to explore. While both locations attract a number of tourists, Cozumel is a stop for many large cruise ships, which flood the streets regularly with crowds that never seem to end, turning an afternoon stroll into a busy center, making it difficult to take in the gorgeous surroundings.
The cruise ship activity in Cozumel has also had a profound effect on the area’s waters. Once a prime snorkeling location, the area’s aquatic life has seen a decline, with once regular visitors saying it is no longer what it used to be. Los Cabos still has an abundance of marine life from turtles to dolphins and whales. Divers are in paradise on Socorro island, which is rich with giant manta rays, whales and a number of sharks.
Shelter from the Storm
Being situated on the west coast, Los Cabos is more sheltered from storms, specifically hurricanes. The east coast, however, is much more prone to these disasters, especially between June and October, popular vacation times for both destinations. If you’re looking to stay safe from the weather, we recommend staying on the Pacific Coast.
As far as beaches are concerned, Los Cabos beaches offer more exclusivity. Each beach in the area provides its own unique view and experience, often surrounded by breathtaking rock formations and sunset views. With world-renowned beaches like Lover’s Beach and Medano Beach, home to the famous Arch, you know you can expect only the best experience and views. Beaches in Los Cabos often have fewer vendors and loud sounds, whereas Cozumel beaches are lined with bars and cafes, which is can be fun if it’s your thing.
The range of activities is much greater in Los Cabos, which has the advantage of a variety of landscapes. Mountains, parks, and canyons are abundant which allows for adventure for everyone’s tastes. From ATV trails, horseback rides, hiking as well as beaches, Los Cabos has it all, including the largest marlin fishing tournament in the world and seasonal whale watching.
Dine in Style
Dining and nightlife is also significantly different on each end of the country. While both offer authenticity, Los Cabos has its own upscale flare to Mexican foods and drink like immersive farms with restaurants, classes, and spas, including Flora Farms Kitchen and Las Tamarindos. Most restaurants open early and close late, whereas the restaurants in Cozumel tend to only open around 2 pm and close at midnight. Los Cabos is largely recognized for luxurious accommodations, including opulent private villas just steps away from the azure blue waters of the Sea of Cortez. Looking to indulge? Look no further than Elegant Mexico for the perfect villa to take your Los Cabos vacation to the next level.
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