Low Season in the Riviera Maya
Estimates for 2015 suggest that September and October won’t be as affected by the annual downturn in number of visitors. Strategies are also being devised to protect jobs at this time
September and October are traditionally the months with the lowest hotel occupancy in the Riviera Maya. However, in contrast to recent years when the occupancy was around 50 percent, 2015 is looking to be more optimistic.
Mauricio Góngora Escalante, mayor of Solidaridad, said that an 80 percent occupancy rate is expected.
“During 2015 we have had numbers superior to those of 2014. We are confident that with the government tourism promotion, the work of the business sector, and the efforts of committees and associations, we will finish the year with higher numbers.”
Carlos Dzib Magaña, local director of the Workers Confederation of Mexico, agreed with the mayor’s comments, and added that the low season will not affect the working class with firings or layoffs.
He explained that in coordination with a private initiative, they will analyze the best plan to keep workers in their jobs.
He said he did not know of any restaurants or hotels closing for the low season to do renovations, taking with them the income source of their employees.
Of the 4.4 million visitors who came last year, 289,751 came in September. Of those tourists, almost 85,000 were from the United States, 77,000 Europeans, 75,000 Mexicans, 25,000 Canadians, 23,000 South Americans, and the rest from other parts of the world.
In 2014, 311,083 tourists came in October. The most successful month was June, with 438,165 visitors. All inclusive hotels were at a 75.4 percent capacity, while European plan hotels were at 24.6 percent capacity.
Hotels located on Quinta Avenida and downtown Playa del Carmen barely reached 40 percent last year at this time.
Juan Pablo Gallegos, general manager of Hotel Cacao, concurred with these numbers. “During the low season, 40 percent capacity is our normal range. We try to create strategies to conserve all of our personnel.”
The upswing in occupancy begins during the second half of November. There is a popular belief in Playa del Carmen that says those who come to live here in September and survive do so because their destiny is to stay.