Mexico's Yucatan State Poised to be Mexico's Next "It" Destination
By: State of Yucatan
It is important to note that the state of Yucatán is not the same thing as the Yucatán Peninsula. The Yucatán Peninsula is a region of Mexico comprising three states: Quintana Roo, home to popular resort cities such as Cancun and Playa del Carmen; the state of Campeche, known for its colonial cities and rich history; and the state of Yucatán, which sits between the other two.
"The state of Yucatán is the heart of [the Yucatán Peninsula],"
"There are cenotes, haciendas, cultural cities, virgin beaches and nature." (Cenotes are beautiful, flooded natural pits or sinkholes that played an important role in the ancient Mayan culture.)
This makes the state the perfect cross-section of everything Mexico has to offer, from beautiful beaches and ancient ruins to cutting-edge gastronomy, architecture, art, cultural cities and more.
The state of Yucatán has been experiencing positive growth in tourism numbers since October 2018. In April, Yucatán saw a 27 percent surge in arrivals. Air connectivity continues to increase, and currently there are direct flights from Miami, Houston and Toronto into state capital Mérida.
Yucatecan tourism is experiencing an infrastructure development phase, with 13 hotels currently in the works and new attractions coming online, as well. Grupo Xcaret is expected to open a cenote park near the colonial city of Valladolid and Chichén Itzá, one of the state's most important and beloved Mayan archaeological sites.
Speaking of Mayan heritage, the state of Yucatán is shaping a program designed to immerse travelers into this ancient indigenous culture, which still thrives on the peninsula today. Through these one-, two- or three-day immersive experiences, visitors can live beside and learn from the Mayan people in the area. This program is expected to launch in 2020.
Yucatán state is also known for its pristine, virgin beaches and the small fishing villages that dot the northern coast of the peninsula. Cities like Progreso and Celestún are known for their sugary sand and turquoise blue waters. Soon, visitors can expect to see more hotels opening up along these beaches, transforming them into laid-back getaways that offer a different vibe from the all-inclusive resort scene common in other destinations.
"Our governor has just launched incentives for investors," said Fridman. "Our plan is to develop some of those beaches, but in a very specific way.
"We want to remain an example of sustainable development,"
The first spot to be invested in will be cruise port Progreso, location of the main beach in Yucatán state. It wasn't initially conceived as a tourist destination, but the government will soon begin investing to make it a more easily accessible experience for tourists. Celestún will follow.
"We do not want huge, 800-room resorts," said Fridman. "We want the eco-friendly and small luxury boutique hotels that are part of our essence."
Capital city Mérida, meanwhile, has been selected to be the host the 2020 edition of Tianguis Turístico, Mexico's largest annual tourism industry event. "This will allow us to show the media and the trade industry what the state of Yucatan has to offer," noted Fridman.
For additional information on the State of Yucatan, visit yucatan.travel
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