Los Cabos, located in the extreme south of the Mexican state of Baja California, has been closer to Spain this summer, thanks to a direct flight offered from Madrid, with a weekly frequency, the airline Iberojet (Ávoris) until next September 5.
It is the only direct connection from Europe to this exclusive Mexican destination, nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Cortez, which, with its unique mix of sea, desert and mountains, attracts thousands of tourists, mainly North Americans, every year.
The Los Cabos Tourism Trust (Fiturca), an independent official body dedicated to promoting tourist facilities and goods, hopes that the Iberojet flight will allow it to receive 4,000 Spaniards this year, who will be able to discover a destination “completely different from what have in their imaginary about Mexico”.
Europe, which accounts for less than 2% of foreign tourism in Los Cabos, is a strategic emerging market for this tourist enclave, which flees from overcrowding and seeks to position itself as a luxury destination.
The region has 85 hotels (18,000 rooms), of which 20 (3,000 rooms) are exclusive resorts, frequented by celebrities from all over the world.
The average expenditure per tourist in Los Cabos amounts to 2,500 dollars, a figure much higher than the 1,000 dollars on average in Mexico, the general director of Fiturca, Rodrigo Esponda.
MORE DIRECT FLIGHTS WITH EUROPE
While waiting to have a study on the level of satisfaction of European tourists arriving on flights from Madrid in October, the director hopes that the new route opened on July 18 will be consolidated in the coming years, expanding in the coming the period of departures, for example from June to October, and, in 2024, the number of frequencies.
In addition, work is being done with the United Kingdom, Germany, France and Switzerland, its main European source markets, to open two more direct connections with the Old Continent in the coming months.
The region already had a direct flight with Europe, from London, which TUI began operating in November 2019, but the outbreak of the pandemic in March 2020 cut short its continuity plans.
Los Cobos was closed for three months due to covid, suffering a 50% drop in the number of tourists in 2020, but, thanks to its commitment to safety and maintaining hotel prices, the recovery was faster than in any other destination Mexican.
In 2021, the number of pre-pandemic tourists fully recovered. “There was no other vacation destination that achieved this in Mexico or in the world,” he stressed.
This year, Los Cabos is growing 25% compared to 2019 and Esponda forecasts that 2022 will close with 3 million foreign tourists.
Traditionally, the high season was from November to April and then in July, but with the covid everything has changed and this year there were more tourists in May than in January, “what has never been seen”, he added.
One of the keys to the Los Cabos tourism model is public-private collaboration in areas such as security or urban development, where the number of hotel rooms that can be built per square meter or the height of buildings is limited, up to six floors.
With its investments, the private sector has helped the administrations to turn Los Cabos into one of the safest destinations in Mexico, Esponda stressed, which is why the majority of foreigners arrive individually and only 30% travel with tour package.
In addition to the Fiturca, which allocates all the money collected via lodging tax (3% of hotel turnover) -12 million dollars in 2021- to promotion, there is a second private trust, which contributes an additional 2 million, which They are dedicated to complementary activities such as carrying out market studies, among others.