Mazatlan, Mexico’s “Colonial City on the Beach,” recently announced that Sun Country Airlines® will increase service to the destination this winter from Minneapolis/St. Paul from two to four flights per week, offering nonstop flights on Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays beginning on December 20, 2014. This news, in addition to key infrastructure and tourism related developments that occurred in Q1 2014, has positioned Mazatlan to achieve another year of record growth.
With more than 300,000 travelers from the United States and Canada visiting Mazatlan in 2013, which was the most since 2007, the destination is expected to see upwards of 550,000 visitors from those key markets in 2014.
This sustained momentum is largely due to increased accessibility through new flights and cruise line returns, key infrastructure developments and a booming Meetings, Incentives, Conferences & Exhibitions (MICE) industry.
“We are extremely pleased with the positive developments that have transformed Mazatlan over the past several years, and even more excited about the prospect of future growth in our key industries, including tourism,” said Frank Cordova, Secretary of Tourism for the region. “Beyond our beautiful beaches, world-class gastronomy and cultural heritage, Mazatlan offers unique opportunities for continued growth as travelers and investors alike seek out unique Pacific coast destinations in Mexico. This is further demonstrated with the increased connectivity announced today with our partner, Sun Country Airlines®.”
Increased Accessibility – Mazatlan’s Air Travel and Cruise Industries
In Q1 2014, Mazatlan received 136,000 airport arrivals, growing over 14 percent from Q1 2012 and nearly 10 percent from Q1 2013. Year-over-year growth in this sector can be attributed to increasing air connectivity with major airlines.
In addition to the Sun Country Airlines® announcement, in April it was announced that Delta Air Lines will add nonstop service between Los Angeles and Mazatlan, also beginning in December 2014. Los Angeles and Minneapolis are major hubs for travel to Mazatlan, as are Phoenix and Dallas.
It is expected that connectivity from these destinations will continue to expand in 2014. In addition to growth in air connectivity, five major cruise lines either currently service or plan to service the destination. In May 2014, it was announced that Carnival Cruise Lines will resume service to Mazatlan with year-round cruises departing out of Los Angeles beginning in April 2015.
In addition, Princess Cruises recently announced the 50th Anniversary celebration of its first voyage to Mexico with 14-day trips including calls in Mazatlan beginning in 2015. Holland America Line, Norwegian Cruise Line and Azamara Club Cruises resumed service to Mazatlan in 2013. Now, with five cruise lines planning service for the 2014-2015 cruise season, it is expected that calls to Mazatlan’s port will bring 200,000 tourists.
Infrastructure Developments – Building Mazatlan’s Future
In Q1 2014, Mazatlan received 548,000 hotel guest arrivals, growing nearly 18 percent from Q1 2012 and nearly nine percent from Q1 2013. In addition, in Q1 2014, Mazatlan experienced 74 percent occupancy rates in its hotels, a figure that grew from 52 percent in Q1 2012. This sustained growth in the number of visitors has bolstered Mazatlan’s growing hotel industry.
Mazatlannow has 58 hotels with a total of 11,000 rooms, with figures expected to rise with the addition of properties in the heart ofMazatlan’s historic district, the marina and beachfront areas. A new resort located at Playa Espiritu is also expected to open in December 2014.
In addition to increased development in the hotel industry, Mazatlan’s general infrastructure is also seeing significant investment. The airport has undergone a $6 million restoration effort. A new, 17-mile turnpike, which is expected to be completed by November 2014, will also provide a direct route from Mazatlan’s airport to main resort area, cutting transit time by nearly 40 minutes.
Business Travel – Mazatlan’s MICE Industry
In 2014, it is projected that Mazatlan will host 667 MICE events, with growth rates expected to reach 57 percent from 2012 and nearly 37 percent from 2013. This growth will be further spurred by significant development around the Mazatlan International Center, which has the capacity for 4,500 convention attendees and features 17 exhibition halls and meetings rooms.
Typically, MICE travelers spend 30 percent more while visiting the destination, and stay 1.5 nights longer than the 4.3 night average in order to take advantage of Mazatlan’s beaches, activities such as golf and fishing and opportunities to host cocktail parties and experience the local dining scene.
Recognized for its world-class beaches, golfing, gastronomy and cultural offering, Mazatlan is an ideal vacation getaway for all ages on the Mexican Riviera: The Lighthouse (El Faro), the second-tallest natural light house in the world; experience the famous Angela Peralta Theater nearby the charming Plazuela Machado; and taste the exquisite gastronomy, whether a local pastry shop in Old Mazatlan or the world-famous seafood at The Shrimp Bucket. Go Mazatlan. For more information about the destination please go to: www.GoMazatlan.com.