Luxury Market Surges in Los Cabos
by Jessica Montevago

Hoteliers are betting on Los Cabos’ reputation as a top destination for luxury travelers, as they continue to bring upscale brands to the area. The good news: it seems to be paying off.

The hot spot saw a 14.7% tourism increase in 2015 compared to 2014, welcoming more than 1.5 million tourists a year. Delta Vacations and Aeromexico Vacations bookings to the destination have seen “healthy double-digit increases,” said Delta Vacations senior vice president of marketing and product development Tina Iglio.

Iglio predicts Los Cabos will “represent a huge opportunity for travel agents in 2016.”

Expanding the upscale hotel scene
Keeping up with the demand, a slew of luxury hotels are in the works.

The stretch of land connecting Cabo San Lucas and San José del Cabo, known as the Corridor, is home to the area’s most luxurious resorts and spas, including popular spots El Ganzo and The Cape. Hotel openings slated for Los Cabos this year include a Park Hyatt, Hard Rock, Le Blanc Resort, VieVage Los Cabos, and Mar Adentro by Encanto. Los Cabos Tourism Board reported that in the next two years, nearly 4,000 new hotel rooms will be built.

Iglio attributes the uptick in luxury hotels to a number of major infrastructure projects that have strengthened the city’s position in the marketplace. Newly paved roads, the expansion of the San Jose del Cabo International Airport, and construction of the Los Cabos Convention Center also have brought more hospitality investors.

In addition, MMGY Global’s 2015 Portrait of American Travelers said that visits to the destination by affluent guests have increased two years in a row.

Making a comeback
The boom comes just as Los Cabos began to get on its feet again. In 2014, the region was battered by Hurricane Odile. Heavy rain and 125 mph winds knocked down homes, washed away beaches, and damaged hotels and businesses.  

Most of the hotels only reopened this past year, including the Hyatt Ziva – the Hyatt’s first all-inclusive property in Los Cabos. The resort officially reopened its doors this past September, after 95% of its 591 suites were damaged.

Many of the hotels, like the Hyatt Ziva, made upgrades during reconstruction after the storm. The Hyatt Ziva added a new coffee shop, 24-hour deli, and expanded seating at its popular restaurant.

One-of-a-kind destination
Located on the southern tip of Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula, Los Cabos comprises Cabo San Lucas and San José del Cabo. Tourists flock to the spot where the desert meets the sea and the Gulf of California meets the Pacific Ocean. Besides the picturesque view, Los Cabos offers a broad range of leisure activities, from golfing to whale-watching to visiting historic sites.

Tourists can experience Old Mexico in the 200-year-old city of San Jose del Cabo. The quieter side of Los Cabos, the city offers travelers a window into the country’s culture. Paintings and sculptures from contemporary Mexican artists are on display at high-end galleries, creating an impressive art scene in the community.

Meanwhile, Cabo San Lucas, known for its party atmosphere, boasts an active nightlife, as well as shopping and fine dining.

Los Cabos also has become known for its golf scene. It has several world-class courses, and the $200 million Diamante Golf Course, designed by former PGA champion Davis Love III, this year was named Mexico’s best course by Golf Digest.

“There’s so much to see and do,” Iglio said. “It’s truly a one-of-a-kind destination.”

 

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Tip of the Day
It's interesting--although not surprising--that travel agents, with whom our members work so closely, ranked high among travelers, and it reconfirms the value travel agent partners bring to our members.
 
Terry Dale
President & CEO, USTOA
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