It’s been nearly eight years since Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto officially opened the Autopista San Jose del Cabo to Cabo San Lucas toll road in Los Cabos on April 11, 2015 to help streamline traffic between the two cities and the airport.
However, despite the number of years since the opening, there are still traffic issues and road delays that are now to the point where tourists are missing their flights due to road issues.
This is a significant issue for a region that is dependent on tourism and the positive tourist experience for survival.
What’s Behind the Delays
Los Cabos is enjoying strong demand from tourists this spring season. This is in part due to a generational shift towards more travel and experiential products. Another is the desire of visitors to travel abroad for “revenge travel” after the lockdowns and social distancing measures during COVID-19.
But the Mexican resort destination is a victim of its own success, and the infrastructure in the community is taking the brunt of the impact. Local government officials tried to prepare for the spring season in advance. However, the volume of visitors is taking even the most optimistic prediction to the task.
The toll road is part of the infrastructure struggling with the increase in visitor count. Tourism officials in Los Cabos say there simply are not enough toll booths to handle the number of visitors that Los Cabos is seeing this spring season.
This is causing a number of backups as drivers line up to pay their tolls and speed their passengers to the airport and other key tourist attractions in the region.
The volume of traffic on the toll road is also leading to more accidents on the roadway which also leads to additional traffic and delays for travelers. Recently, government officials announced plans to improve the roadway and streamline travel, but those efforts are still in the future.
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End the Toll Road
Local resort and timeshare owners recently delivered a letter to local, state, and federal level government officials asking for the end of the toll road in Los Cabos. They argue that there are other methods to pay for the road instead of creating traffic and accidents from the toll system.
Executive President of the Baja California Association of Timeshare Developers Francisco Javier Olivares Velázquez in Los Cabos authored the letter on behalf of property owners as a solution to a problem that is only getting worse.
Olivares Velázquez commented that the toll road couldn’t keep up with the current visitor volume in Los Cabos and caused traffic issues at the toll booths.
Tourist Growth To Increase Issue
Hospitality officials cited a number of new resort hotel projects and championship golf courses in the works in Los Cabos that will only increase the flow of tourists and cause more traffic problems for the toll infrastructure on the key regional highway.
Another potential issue is the fact that Los Cabos is working to attract a higher-end traveler that is looking for amenities and experiences to match their income levels. These travelers are especially concerned with consistent roadway delays from airport roadway traffic.
The ultra-luxe travelers using private jets to visit Los Cabos are already frustrated with the toll road traffic issues. It’s just a matter of time before complaints to increase from those using the general aviation carriers at the airport.
Airport Travel Recommendation
Until the problem can be resolved, it is recommended that travelers leave extra early for the airport and plan plenty of traffic delay time to catch their flight. This is especially important during times of high airport demand during the current spring peak season, such as the upcoming weekends.
Olivares Velázquez added that, unfortunately, the hospitality trade group was not aware of the actual percentage of travelers who have been impacted by the toll road travel delays and missed their flight at the airport.
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