The Mexican state of Quintana Roo, home to popular Caribbean beach getaways, including Cancun and Playa del Carmen, is preparing to reopen for business in the first week of June.
A local tourism industry lobby group, Quintana Roo Tourism Promotion Council, has claimed that most of the international airliners had agreed to resume flight services by the end of May.
Among the airlines gearing up to launch flights to Cancun include Air Canada, Air Transat, Delta Airlines, Copa Airlines, Air Europa, Sunwing, Southwest, and Aeroméxico.
Many hotels and resorts have also resumed bookings online, according to local media reports.
The tourism industry makes up 8% of the Mexican economy, with the US and Canadian tourists accounting for 43% of its foreign tourists during the “spring break” season.
The industry representatives are demanding the country’s Health Ministry that it declare Cancun’ free of coronavirus’, insisting that such a ‘badge’ would help them avoid layoffs and recover the losses quickly.
Roberto Cintron Gomez, President of a local hotel association, has told news portal EL UNIVERSAL that COVID-free certificate is vital for the tourism industry to rebound quickly from the crisis.
“We think that a ‘COVID-free’ certificate should be created so that the entire state, the entire tourism industry of the state, restaurants, ecotourism parks, discos, marinas, casinos (…) can be launched on that date as a ‘COVID-Free destination,’ he said.
Another hotel association has launched a contest called ‘Come 2 Cancún” on social media sites, offering a free stay for the winners.
Cancun shut its doors on foreign tourists earlier in April, saying, “Paradise Can Wait, Please Stay Home”. Yet, a few foreign tourists continued to arrive for sun-bathing on its beaches.
As of May 1, Quintana Roo State had more than 700 coronavirus cases.