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

Top Five Hotels In Most Popular Summer Destinations

1. Disney's Port Orleans Resort-Riverside, FL

2. Blue Horizon Hotel, Canada

3. Hyatt Ziva Cancun, Mexico

4. Fairmont Olympic Hotel, WA

5. Sanctuary Cap Cana by AlSol, Dominican Republic

Source: AAA Inspectors

TMR Recommendations
Top Stories
U.S. State Department Expands Mexico Travel Warning
U.S. State Department Expands Mexico Travel Warning

An increase in violence in two popular tourist destinations has the U.S. State Department warning citizens about travel to Cancun and Los Cabos.

Two Dead After Earthquake Rocks Italian Island Of Ischia
Two Dead After Earthquake Rocks Italian Island Of Ischia

A 4.0-magnitude quake struck the Italian resort island off the coast of Naples at the height of its tourist season.

Fall Season Brings New Offerings To Disney World
Fall Season Brings New Offerings To Disney World

The Happiest Place on Earth welcomes autumn with festive activities and eats. 

Marriott Uses Short Movies To Promote Autograph Collection
Marriott Uses Short Movies To Promote Autograph Collection

As hotel companies expand their "soft brands," travel agents are struggling to explain and sell them to clients. Marriott is using video storytelling to help.

Travel In Barcelona Recovers In Wake Of Las Ramblas Attack
Travel In Barcelona Recovers In Wake Of Las Ramblas Attack

The city's airport is operating close to schedule while cruise lines, including Disney, MSC and Oceania, are going ahead with planned port calls.

Van Crashes Into Dozens Of People In Barcelona Tourist Area
Van Crashes Into Dozens Of People In Barcelona Tourist Area

Police confirm fatalities from “massive crash” in the Las Ramblas district.

News Briefs
Advertiser's Voice
Advertiser's Voice: Collette