They say March comes in like a lamb and out like a lion. While that normally refers to the weather, it can also be applied to the tourist traffic counts at the Los Cabos International Airport.
The March of Tourist Demand
In the month of March, Los Cabos International Airport had a passenger count increase of 15.4 percent during the month and was the airport with the second-largest increase in passengers in Mexico.
The Mexican airport with the largest increase in passenger traffic was the Guadalajara Airport, with a 19.1 percent jump. Behind Los Cabos was Puerto Vallarta with 14.6 percent and Tijuana with an 8 percent increase.
In a year-over-year comparison, traffic at the Los Cabos International Airport increased by 14.2 percent.
The Spring Travel Season
Definitely, much of the growth in tourist count can be attributed to the spring travel season and the influx of college students looking to get away for the holiday. That’s the out like a lion part of the airline traffic count.
The early start to the spring break season in mid-March helped with the jump in passenger numbers.
But that only explains part of the dramatic double-digit jump in passenger traffic.
A more significant reason for the jump in passenger counts to Los Cabos is connected to the revenge travel phenomenon. While it sounds a little scary, the revenge part actually connects to the pent-up demand for travel due to the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns.
After being in lockdown for three years with limited ability to travel, especially internationally, tourists are getting back in their global adventure stride in a big way.
Last summer brought records of crowds to Europe, and now that it is cold there, passenger traffic has shifted to warmer locations near the United States, such as Mexico and Los Cabos.
Those numbers really started showing up in a significant way in March, causing problems for the infrastructure in Los Cabos, which was unprepared for the influx.
While revenge travel is definitely part of the reason behind the jump, another important reason is one that has been building in Los Cabos for a number of years and just now is forecasting a bright future for the local tourism industry.
Luxury Los Cabos
The seeds have been planted for a while, and green shoots are just starting to sprout this spring, creating the perception among tourists that Los Cabos, and La Paz, are actually resort luxury destinations for United States travelers.
New resort-style luxury travel amenities such as spas, golf courses, fine dining restaurants, and higher-end nightclubs are starting to attract a new type of tourist to Los Cabos. The amenities are starting to be complemented by new resorts and all-inclusive properties coming to the area.
Ask Los Cabos Mayor Oscar Leggs Castro about it, and he will tell you that his municipal government has been working on this for a number of years with the Los Cabos Tourism Trust.
It’s the three-legged pillar of sustainability, well-being, and nature that both organizations believe will power the future of Los Cabos tourism. It will also be the push that delivers the more affluent tourist to Los Cabos and beyond.
As an aside, La Paz is also working on this initiative to attract more luxury travelers. However, it appears that for now, the La Paz visitors bureau is more focused domestically. That is leaving the international luxury traveler to the better-known Los Cabos market.
What The Future Holds For Los Cabos
Increases in airport traffic will continue for the foreseeable future as Los Cabos continues to diversify its tourism market towards more luxury travel.
The wild card is will the infrastructure be able to accommodate the increase in passengers, with not only the airport but also roads and other basic amenities pushed to the limit.
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