The COVID-19 pandemic struck the whole world by surprise, and through the course of it made an impact on many different professions. In a time where you’re required to follow certain protocols to even go to a store, one can only imagine how flustered everyone was when they had to try and regulate international tourism. Most countries started closing their borders to some extent and greatly limiting circumstances under which one can enter or leave the country. Now, just so you can imagine what a catastrophe it was for tourism and economy, tourism accounts for about 10% of the world’s GDP and employs around 320 million people.
So, when the whole world started shutting down and limiting movement, the whole sector of tourism and traveling also came to a halt. The negative effects of the pandemic were even more pronounced in tourism-dependent countries, and they’ll probably need to wait much longer than others to break even with the economic dent which will remain. That’s why it’s almost unimaginable that luxury tourism in Mexico is flourishing, but it’s true.
So, what’s bringing people to choose Mexico among all destinations, and in the midst of all this chaos?
Now, first, you have to understand that luxury tourism was on the rise even before the pandemic started, tourists with specific tastes and needs pushed the definition of upper-class tourism to a new level. Everything is evolving, from the waiting lounge at the airport, the comfort and pampering one receives with a first-class ticket, to the gorgeous impeccably created hotels and resorts that are the destination.
Now, the reality that we’ve unfortunately had to get used to with the pandemic created even more demand for luxurious traveling. Why? Because people are looking for a break from the pandemic, and they find it in these amazing hotels set in remote destinations, with warm weather and loose or close to no regulations.
Luxury hotels have started offering mini buyouts and extended stays. People still crave some greater level of privacy than before the pandemic, which is understandable after a year of social distancing, so many of these resorts offer packages with extra space for you and your friends/family or whoever you’re traveling with. For example, in Mexico City, you can opt to buy out a whole floor for your stay that will include private dinners, mixology classes, and spa treatments.
If you’re looking for even more privacy, you should maybe consider private villa accommodations. There’s a vast number of huge gorgeous villas scattered everywhere you can choose from with many luxurious features like private infinity pools, tropical gardens, or rooftop sundecks.
Tulum – a Thriving Tourism Destination
Tulum in Mexico was once a sleepy fishing village, they say. Well, it’s not anymore. Nowadays huge numbers of tourists visit Tulum every year, lured by its Mayan ruins, amazing turquoise waters, and the chance to party from dusk till dawn somewhere in the midst of lush jungles and golden sandy beaches. Now, during the Covid epidemic, you’d expect the demand to drop, wouldn’t you? Well, you’d be wrong, the demand is higher than ever for this beautiful piece of heaven in the Caribbean Sea.
Mexico is one of the few major tourist destinations that chose not to close their borders or demand a negative PCR test upon arrival, and that has successfully ensured that their tourism hasn’t suffered as much as in other countries. Mexico was actually the third most visited country last year (2020), and Tulum is one of the most visited destinations there, especially for visitors looking for a more luxurious stay. Even during the worst part of the pandemic, it was no secret that many businesses in Tulum were fully operating, welcoming party-hungry tourists, boasting private parties and deliciously crowded beach bars and clubs, while the rest of the world was closing up and socially distancing. Tulum’s many stunning boutique hotels attract celebrities and Instagrammers from around the world, who flock to this tropical paradise in droves to snap share-worthy photos at some of the most beautiful beach resorts on the planet. So, it’s not difficult to imagine why this luscious piece of heaven became and still is such a popular tourist mark these days.
Extraordinary Culinary Experiences and a Focus on Health
The hoteliers in Mexico are always thinking of new ways to attract and also impress their upscale travelers, and the way they do it with their cuisine is simply irresistible. There are countless luxurious places offering farm-fresh and delicious foods, Michelin-starred restaurants luring you to come and have your senses delighted, and they are really focused on well-being and making healthier food since the epidemic started. After many months of living in a pandemic-era style, it’s only logical that more and more people put the focus on their well-being and health. There are now countless places in Mexico offering organized meditation sessions, yoga training with expert instructors, and a myriad of amazing wellness suites to cater to your every need, having you leave so refreshed it’ll feel like you just hit the reset button.
The popularity of Private Airplanes
Another collateral effect of the pandemic is the positive upturn in private aviation. The ever-growing need for privacy equaled the rise in demand for this upscale form of transportation, which is not surprising when you think of all the advantages of using a private plane. Hoteliers in Mexico have picked up on this trend and have begun offering various packages for vacations that include a private flight. In the end, no one likes to experience the hassle of going to the airport, and especially now in the midst of this coronavirus crisis.
Is It Irresponsible?
It is natural that not all travelers will like the idea of Mexico being this safe haven for everyone who wants a break from all the corona-induced rules, because everyone who goes there to party is bound to come back, and that just seems blatantly irresponsible. Some travel advisors are protesting selling these luxury Mexico trips to tourists, too, because they feel morally obligated to at least not promote it if they can’t stop it. Other advisors are not as stiff about welcoming tourists but will offer them information on the current Covid situation and advice to stay safe.
It may be that it is a tiny bit irresponsible, but in the end, it all comes to individual responsibility, and it’s difficult to blame people for wanting to experience closeness, friendliness and just dance like there’s no tomorrow after all we’ve been through in the last year and a half. Yes, it’s hazardous, and we probably need to wait a bit more until we can act that wild, but what we’re trying to say is – we can understand the need for this phenomenon. Everyone in the world acted in this way or another and this is just how Mexico chose to be during the pandemic.
Official Health and Safety Protocols
In essence, Mexico is open to travelers. They won’t require you to provide a negative test or undergo a quarantine period upon arrival, the most they’ll do in some cases is ask you to fill out a health questionnaire. Only American travelers need to perform a test 72 hours before traveling back to the US. Because they have such loose regulations on the borders, Mexico is considered a ‘high risk’ in the travel advisory rating system.
There have been over 3.700.000 registered cases of coronavirus in Mexico, and over 280.000 deaths since the pandemic began, so the situation is far from ideal, but it’s also noteworthy that they have administered over 101 million doses of vaccines up to date.
In Mexico, there is a system recognizing four tiers of restriction, a traffic-light four-tier system with red meaning the maximum level of restrictions, orange limiting most businesses and activity to 30%, yellow allowing businesses to resume and also some public gatherings, and green meaning there are no restrictions currently in place.
Most states are now in the yellow category and only a few of them are green or orange, while there are no red states. There may be some strictly local restrictions depending on where you travel, so you should go ahead and research the exact regulations in place in the destination of your choice.
So, now you have a better grasp on why luxurious trips to Mexico are such a big hype, and especially these days during the pandemic. Whether you agree with their philosophy or not is entirely up to you and you have every right to dislike the contents of this text if it feels celebratory of potentially harmful traveling, although it was not its intention.
We tried to put it out there exactly how it is and provide our explanations and even our understanding of why so many people are drawn to many of the beautiful destinations in Mexico. Hopefully, in the near future, we will be free of any thought of restrictions and fear from infection, but until then, Mexico does offer a great variety of choices for both the responsible and slightly irresponsible traveler, so explore your options and think about it.