LOS CABOS — The year is off to a great start for Los Cabos, which has seen a record 13% growth in domestic and international visitors in Q1 of 2022.
According to the Los Cabos Tourism Board, the destination welcomed an approximate 2.8 million travellers in 2021, marking a complete recovery of its tourism activity. This momentum continued in March 2022 with nearly 325,000 tourist arrivals in the month alone, a record increase of 18% in arrivals when compared to 2019. Q1 also saw an average 70% hotel occupancy, with an average hotel daily rate of US$455, the highest in Mexico.
With regards to the Canadian market specifically, Los Cabos is reporting a steady increase in Canadian visitors in Q1 2022 in light of Canada’s recently released travel protocols. Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto and Vancouver International airports all show an increase in flights and passengers to Los Cabos in the last three months, with WestJet seeing 52.4% of the market share to the destination from Canada. Los Cabos has also welcomed two new Canadian airlines into the mix – Swoop and Flair.
The Los Cabos Tourism Board is attributing all this growth to the destination’s swift response to the pandemic, its strict health and safety protocols, and a business model that combines private and public funding. This model allows Los Cabos to focus on the implementation of state-wide safety measures and elevate its marketing strategy to keep visitors and the local community informed of its phased recovery. As such, Los Cabos has seen a significant increase in demand, particularly from affluent travellers. There’s been an 80% growth in arrivals of international travellers via private aviation in 2021 when compared to 2019, which represents 26% of all air travel activity.
“As a destination that has been challenged over the past few years by the pandemic and international tourism restrictions, we are glad to see tremendous growth driven by our unique business model and the demand among travellers for exclusive and authentic travel experiences,” said Rodrigo Esponda, Managing Director of the Los Cabos Tourism Board. “The pandemic gave us the opportunity to elevate our tourism offering, create new ways of working with our partners and fine-tune our business model.”
NEW FUNDING MEASURES
A recent report found that 58% of Los Cabos residents believe that the tourist growth of the last five years has led to a greater awareness of the environment. This response comes as two new funding measures were announced – the Environmental Sanitation Tax and the Embrace It Contribution.
Led by the Municipality of Baja California Sur, the Environmental Sanitation Tax calls for approximately US$1.69 daily, per room, to be collected from visitors by hotels, timeshares and lodging facilities across the destination. The funding is set to come into effect on June 1, 2022 and will support government investment on environmental infrastructure, sustainability practices and safety and security, among other projects.
The Embrace It Contribution, meanwhile, went into effect earlier this year. First launched in 2019 under the name ‘Fund for a Sustainable Baja Sur,’ the program was paused in 2020 due to the pandemic and was reintroduced in February 2022 under its new name. All international travellers visiting the State of Baja California Sur for more than 24 hours are asked to contribute approximately US$20 to support initiatives needed to strengthen infrastructure, social projects, and the overall economic progress of Los Cabos residents. Contributions can be made via the state’s website or at the kiosks installed at SJD International Airport.