Los Cabos is the fastest-growing destination in Mexico but that just means there are more hotels, restaurants and (of course) golf courses to tempt travellers, including many repeat visitors, especially from Canada, says Rodrigo Esponda, Managing Director, Los Cabos Tourism Board in this edition of Friday 5.
1. There’s so much hotel news coming out of Los Cabos. Can you give us a quick snapshot overview of the new hotel developments in Los Cabos in 2018 as well as what’s in the pipeline?
“Los Cabos today is the fastest growing destination in Mexico due in part to the surge in hotel occupancy, solid growth in tourist’s arrivals, and RevPAR that outpaced the national trend. In 2017, Los Cabos invested over $1 billion in hotel infrastructure, adding over 1,500 new hotel rooms with more than 4,000 currently under construction through 2023.
“More importantly investors remain confident in the destination with the increasing presence of international luxury brands opening in 2018 like Montage (May), The Viceroy (which opened just yesterday) Solaz, a Luxury Collection Resort (June), Ritz Carlton Reserve – the first Reserve sub-brand in Mexico and sixth worldwide (Q3), Four Seasons (2018), Aman (2020), and Park Hyatt (2020), among many others.”
2. What are the latest Canadian visitor stats to Los Cabos?
“Canada is our second most important sourcing market after the U.S. With over 1.3 million visitors in 2017, the market shows a solid long-term growth forecast.
“During the January to March period, international arrivals from Canada increased by 16.3% when compared to the same period in 2017. Overall, Mexico continues to be one of the top 10 most visited destinations in the world – # 7 in arrivals according to the World Tourism Organization – experiencing a 9.3% growth in arrivals.”
3. Some travel agents and their clients may have safety concerns. What do you want them to know?
“Today Los Cabos is safer than ever. We welcome close to three million international visitors each year to Los Cabos – mainly from the U.S. and Canada – so we understand that a secure travel environment is critical to our success as a world-class destination.
“In 2017 we faced some security challenges and the destination responded swiftly and strategically with a five-point security plan that included a response network, a security surveillance system across the destination, building a marine base, cohesive work across the hotel’s security committee, and training and updated security protocols.
“These efforts represented US$50 million in public and private sector investment. As a result, we have seen a dramatic decrease in security-related incidents by 90% this year. Our model is working and we will remain committed to keeping the destination safe and secure.”
4. Los Cabos is a big favourite out of Western Canada. What have you been doing to get travellers in central and eastern Canada inspired to choose Los Cabos and what sort of success are you seeing in terms of numbers and also lift out of central and/or eastern Canada?
“We are unique destination because we over-index on loyal visitors: 70% of our visitors are repeat guests and 20% have come more than four times.
“Canadian travellers are a testament to our repetitive and loyal visitors. Many of them have been visiting the destination for several years and even own houses in the destination.
“Today we are working closely with the most important tour operators and travel agents in the North American region, developing trade programs and increasing training to increase visitation and brand awareness.
“We are also working to improve connectivity with Canada. Currently, we have 31 direct flights connecting nine cities in Canada with Los Cabos, including Edmonton, Kelowna, Montreal, Vancouver, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Calgary, Victoria and Toronto.
5. What are your own favourite things to do in Los Cabos?
“The beauty of Los Cabos is the diversity of experiences it offers, ranging from the desert to the Sea of Cortez as a distinguishing feature.
“The amazing Sea of Cortes is named ‘The Aquarium of the World’ by Jacques Cousteau. Don’t miss a boat trip to ‘The Arch’, a rock formation in the shape of a giant, striking arch or simply kayak, snorkel, or enjoy a stand up paddle ride to get an unforgettable experience. To top it off, you should swim with dolphins and come close to whale sharks to really live an authentic and unique experience.
“Los Cabos also offers a range of dining experiences with incredible views. Don’t miss the breathtaking sunsets of the Arch and the Pacific Ocean, while enjoying Los Cabos’ exquisite cuisine. Also, venture out to discover off the beaten path restaurants offering farm-to-table culinary experiences thanks to the groundbreaking Flora Farms in the destination.
“And don’t forget, with 350 days of sun, Los Cabos has perfect weather for golfing year-round. November through May is ideal, with almost no rain and an average temperature of 78 degrees.”