Whale watching is not the only spectator event that tourists in Los Cabos can enjoy. The region is fast becoming one of the largest growing mega yacht destinations. According to data collected by FITURCA, one of Los Cabos’ most important tourism promoters, around 98 mega yachts of over 80 feet in length have visited the Cabo San Lucas marina in the first half of the year.
The number makes the marina one of the busiest luxury ports in the world. The arrival of mega yachts in the region gives onlookers dining in and around the Cabo San Lucas Marina an added visual attraction at the very least. Also, the presence of these large vessels gives the local economy a major boost.
The Arrival of Mega Yachts Was A Growing Industry Before The Pandemic
According to Rodrigo Esponda of FITURCA mega yacht arrivals were a growing industry before the pandemic. Things slowed down in 2020, and 2021, but arrivals have rebounded nicely this year. Esponda speculates that one of the reasons why mega yacht arrivals in Los Cabos are on their way to return to pre-pandemic levels is the facilities that the Cabo San Lucas Marina offers. Esponda mentioned,
“The marina in Cabo San Lucas features 400 spots to dock, this makes it one of the most active marinas in the world. The arrival of luxury boats in 2019 was one of the most solid industries in the region. It was developing well, and showed signs of consistent growth. The arrival of boats larger than 80 feet is once again a growing industry in 2022. The numbers that are being posted are interesting.”
Medium Sized Boats Continue To Flock To Los Cabos As Well
It’s not just mega yachts of over 80 feet that are making their way to Los Cabos. Medium-sized boats of about 50 to less than 80 feet are also arriving in considerable numbers to the Los Cabos marina. Most of these “medium” sized boats are used for sport fishing. In May alone 28 foreign boats made their way to Los Cabos shores. With 77% of those boats being between 50 and 80 feet in length.
Although 2022 has seen more foreign boats arrive to the Cabo marina numbers are still below 2019 levels. In spite of this Rodrigo Esponda believes that both mega yacht, and medium-sized boat arrivals will continue to climb in the coming years. Esponda mentioned that people who take a boating trip while on their Cabo vacation seemed to be more pleased with their overall experience in the region. The general director of FICTURA said,
“The arrival of yachts, and even the use of yachts is an important difference maker in tourist satisfaction levels. Particularly when sport fishing is involved. We have a 96% satisfaction rate amongst tourists who visit the region. But the people who come here and do a bit of sports fishing are really marveled by their experience. Knowing this we will take strides to provide a more modern fleet of sports fishing boats.”
Sports Fishing Is A Large Part Of The Local Economy
Tourist satisfaction may not be the only reason why local tourism promoters want to get as many people on boats as they can in Los Cabos. The sports fishing industry accounts for 40% of the GDP in the entire state of Baja California. Estimates indicate that on average a tourist that arrives in the region to do sports fishing will spend 2500 US dollars a day. That’s 5 times more than what a regular tourist that doesn’t fish spends in the state. With this in mind, it’s clear why local tourism promoters love the presence of mega yachts, and medium-sized boats in Cabo shores.