The Mexican state of Quintana Roo has been getting a lot of attention from the American media lately — and most of it is bad.
For those readers who are unfamiliar with Mexican geography, Quintana Roo is where several popular tourist destinations are located: Cancun, Isla Mujeres, Playa del Carmen, Puerto Morelos and Cozumel.
It started back in July when the USA Today published a story alleging that some Americans may have been given tainted alcohol while staying at all-inclusive resorts in Quintana Roo.
Like a one-two punch, a second negative article came out talking about an increase in cartel violence in tourist areas — specifically mentioning areas in Quintana Roo.
So, the question is this: Has all of this negative press resulted in a decline in the number of tourists visiting the area?
One way that we can answer that is to compare the hotel occupancy rates from August 2017 and August 2016. Fortunately for all of us, those just came out today from the Secretary of Tourism of Quintana Roo (SEDETUR).
Surprisingly, the statistical data for August actually shows an increase in hotel occupancy in most areas when compared to same period last year: Cozumel (+2%), Isla Mujeres (+14.5%), Riviera Maya (+2.5%) and Chetumal (+2.4%).
However, hotel occupancy was down slightly in the areas of Cancun and Puerto Morelos* (-0.8%).
There is no way to know if this small decrease was the result of the negative press or some other factor(s).
* Note- SEDETUR combines the statistical data from Cancun and Puerto Morelos.
Let’s Wrap This Up
Personally, I’m very happy to see that the media hype has not kept the majority of tourists away from this area. Despite what the media would like you to believe, Quintana Roo is still a very safe place for both tourists and expats alike.