Travel Agents Report Mexico Sales Are Solid

by Doug Gollan
Travel Agents Report Mexico Sales Are Solid

Of all Mexico's destinations, travel agents say Riviera Maya is performing best. Photo: Grand Velas Riviera Maya


Despite the concern expressed in the consumer and trade press that U.S. travel to Mexico might be hurt this year, a new survey of Travel Market Report’s readers shows sales are headed up rather than down.

The survey, conducted on March 21 and 22, found that despite the politics, the crime, the lingering softness in the economy, and the growth of competing destinations such as Cuba and Central America, most of the 447 travel agent respondents saw their business to Mexico increase over the past year.

All the respondents are full-time, leisure-focused agents averaging $1.5 million in individual annual sales, with an average 15 years of industry experience. Nearly 26% said their Mexico sales were up more than 5%; 13% reported sales increases of more than 10%, and 6.5% said sales were up more than 20%. Fully 57% said their sales were within a range of -5% to +5% compared to 2016 (compared to just 17% who said sales dropped by more than 5%).


North American travel to Mexico remains strong. Photo: TMR

Asked why they think sales are up, the travel professionals cited reduced fears over Zika—and, as one noted, “Our clients love Mexico and its people, and return again and again and again.”

Agents whose Mexico sales are down said their clients were concerned about not being welcome in the current political environment; about their safety; and, for Canadians, about the exchange rate.

Still, the agents said the diversity of Mexico’s product, including value-priced all-inclusive resorts, is adding to the country’s popularity.

Asked which destinations are performing best, Riviera Maya was the clear leader with 84%, followed by Cancun at 68%, Los Cabos, 37%; Puerto Vallarta, 35%; Riviera Nayarit, 19%; Mazatlan, Merida and the Yucatan Peninsula, all 8%; and Mexico City and Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo, tied at 6%. Colonial Cities were mentioned by 4% of the agents.

Among clients who chose not to go to Mexico, the Caribbean (82%) and Hawaii (40%) were the big winners. About one in four customers (26%) vacationed instead in the Continental United States, and 19% headed to Central America or Europe.

Agents said clients under the age of 35 were the most likely to have no concerns at all about traveling to Mexico. No one age group seemed more concerned than the others.

  3
  0
Tip of the Day
Daily Top List

Five Places to Go for Spring Travel

1. Carlsbad, Calif.

2. Aspen, Colo.

3. Kauai, Hawaii.

4. Cabo San Lucas

5. Washington, D.C.

Source: Forbes

TMR THIS WEEK
http://services.travelsavers.com/AMGService.svc/REST/GetImage?ImageID=c0a45578-7841-e811-ba59-782bcb66a2f2

Why Is Watching ‘Jane Peel Potatoes’ More Exciting than What You’ve Got to Say?

Sponsored by Travel Planners International.

Video is here to stay and travel agents who embrace it are reaping the rewards. 

TMR Recommendations
Top Stories
Toronto Reeling as 10 People Are Killed by Van Driver
Toronto Reeling as 10 People Are Killed by Van Driver

As Canadian authorities identify the dead and wounded from Monday’s downtown incident, their preliminary determination is this was not a terror incident.

Quintana Roo Launches Traveler App to Address Safety Concerns
Quintana Roo Launches Traveler App to Address Safety Concerns

The Mexican state encompassing Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Cozumel, introduces the country’s first app offering 'security to tourists.'

Hard Rock Sets Opening Date for Atlantic City Hotel & Casino
Hard Rock Sets Opening Date for Atlantic City Hotel & Casino

Expecting to offer more than 300 nights of live entertainment in its first year, the resort already booked top musicians like Blake Shelton, Florida Georgia Line, Toby Keith, Third Eye Blind, Steely Dan, and Counting Crows.

Overcoming the Challenges of Selling Escorted Vacations
Overcoming the Challenges of Selling Escorted Vacations

Tour operators need travel agents to reach prospective group travelers — and they are not looking to cut commissions as other industry sectors have done.

New Direct Rail Service Linking Amsterdam to London Debuts
New Direct Rail Service Linking Amsterdam to London Debuts

Alternative travel connection to Amsterdam makes weekend or one-day stopovers in European city more convenient and affordable.

Hotel Group Calls for Stricter Tax Regulations on Airbnb
Hotel Group Calls for Stricter Tax Regulations on Airbnb

Industry association proposes that Airbnb should be regulated, taxed and subject to the same safety compliances and oversight as law-abiding hotel companies.

News Briefs
TMR Report Cards
Advertiser's Voice
Advertiser's Voice: Luxury Retreats