Costa Mujeres Reportedly Beating Cancun in Hotel Profitability

According to a tourism study conducted by the Marketing Consultants (MKT) firm, Costa Mujeres—the continental zone of Isla Mujeres, located just north of Cancun proper—has shown higher hotel profitability margins for the first half of 2019 than Cancun itself.

The Isla Mujeres area has just over 5,200 hotel rooms in operation—an inventory equivalent to about seventeen percent of that available in Cancun’s Hotel Zone—although the region has been authorized to build a total of 25,000 rooms.

It may be that vacationers staying in Costa Mujeres are simply spending more during their stays than the typical traveler to Cancun. According to the MKT Tourism Study, Mexican visitors staying in Costa Mujeres are demonstrating higher purchasing power than the average domestic visitor to Cancun. Of those surveyed, 46 percent reported an annual income of over $100,000 per couple, while just 20 percent of Cancun tourists reported a combined yearly income of more than $100,000.

Still, domestic travelers were in the minority, accounting for just under ten percent of the total visitors to Costa Mujeres, with almost 52 percent originating from the U.S. and close to 31 percent coming from Canada.

Overall hotel occupancy among Quintana Roo’s main tourist destinations registered a fall of between two and five percentage points during the first five months of 2019. Cancun demonstrated the most notable decrease, with occupancy 74 percent in the first five months, versus 79-percent occupancy during the same period in 2018.

According to, the president of the Hotel Association of Cancun, Isla Mujeres and Puerto Morelos, Roberto Cintrón Gómez, has indicated that recent lack of tourism promotion, following the dissolution of the Mexican Tourism Board, and the rise of home rental platforms like Airbnb are the main factors affecting the hotel sector’s current numbers.

Mexican destinations that have actually shown an increase in occupancy rates over the previous year’s period include Los Cabos and Mazatlan.

Patricio del Portillo, Director of CBRE Hotel—a leading hotel- and tourism-market intelligence group—commented on the current climate: “The prevailing situation in the Riviera Maya has resulted in a substitution effect, where demand has begun to grow in Playas del Pacifico such as Los Cabos, Vallarta-Riviera Nayarit and Mazatlan, where there is a growth in the ADR [Average Daily Rate].”

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