With lots of lift from Canada, Los Cabos eagerly anticipating return of Canadian market
Rodrigo Esponda, Managing Director of the Los Cabos Tourism Board

With lots of lift from Canada, Los Cabos eagerly anticipating return of Canadian market

TORONTO — Los Cabos Tourism Board’s Rodrigo Esponda has just about all the major Canadian carriers winging their way to Los Cabos in 2022, with 120,000 seats over the next six months.

He’s even eyeing Canadians airlines that haven’t launched yet. That’s how dedicated Esponda is to growing this market.

Well-known to the Canadian travel industry from his time here with the Mexico Tourism Board, Esponda has spent the past several years promoting the many charms of Los Cabos, as Managing Director of the Los Cabos Tourism Board.

His frequent visits to Canada brought him back to Toronto this week, and he provided updates for the trade media at a small industry luncheon yesterday.

Air Canada, WestJet, Sunwing, Flair and Swoop – all have flights to Los Cabos this year. Esponda said he’s also in talks with upstart carriers Canadian Jetlines and Lynx. “We’re looking to get them down to Los Cabos as well,” he said.

Los Cabos isn’t exclusively upscale, but it’s certainly become a favourite of many high-end travellers, attracted by the destination’s superb golf and sport fishing, sophisticated restaurants and nightlife, and boutique hotels.

In an October 2021 interview with Travelweek, Esponda noted that during the pandemic, Los Cabos’ luxury hotels “were the first to reopen, and luxury clients were the first to come back. We did not do a price strategy. In our case the priority has always been safety. And the market preferred safety.”

Emphasizing how Los Cabos has differentiated itself in an already tourism-rich country, Esponda yesterday noted how the state of Quintana Roo, home to Cancun, Riviera Maya, Playa del Carmen and more, will open the same number of hotel rooms in one year that Los Cabos has in total: 18,000. In Los Cabos, those 18,000 rooms include a mix of all-inclusive product (8,000) and EP (10,000).

EP resort clientele in Los Cabos drive up the average spend, he added, because they’re going off-property to experience restaurants, attractions and more. The average visitor spend for Los Cabos is almost four times the visitor spend for Mexico overall.

“If you want to be locked into a resort for two weeks, Los Cabos is not the place,” says Esponda.

In 2019 visits from Canada to Los Cabos hit 200,000. Like every destination, Los Cabos took a hit from the pandemic, but it recovered extremely quickly. As Esponda noted in last fall’s interview, Los Cabos broke even with 2019’s year-to-date numbers by March 2021, and before even the mid-way mark in 2021 the numbers were going up, up, up.

Thanks to proximity, Western Canada has always been the strongest performer to Los Cabos from this market, with a 65% share. Esponda is continuing his focus on developing the market in Eastern Canada, and says that pre-pandemic, in 2018-2019 Eastern Canada was showing double-digit growth to Los Cabos.

More information about travelling to Los Cabos can be found at visitloscabos.travel.

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