Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Sur, Mexico. (photo via grandriver / E+)
As the travel industry continues to bounce back from the impact of the pandemic, Los Cabos has blossomed into one of the most sought-after tourism destinations in Mexico.
Los Cabos Tourism Board Managing Director Rodrigo Esponda has worked tirelessly with his team to increase the number of arriving international travelers, introduce a new virtual tour platform and unveil a rewards program for travel advisors.
Los Cabos is projecting an unprecedented growth in tourism arrivals expected by the end of the year, with 3.3 million visitors, a 20 percent projected increase from the same period in 2021. The destination continues to exceed expectations and now looks to 2023 with a new chapter focused on a holistic sustainability approach.
In response, Esponda spoke to TravelPulse about the success of the Mexican resort city in 2022 and the excitement from tourism officials about the year ahead.
TravelPulse (TP): Los Cabos has experienced unprecedented tourism growth this year, with the trend expected to continue through the remainder of 2022. What helped drive the region’s post-pandemic comeback and what can we expect for 2023?
Rodrigo Esponda (RE): With a quick response to the pandemic, Los Cabos focused all of its private and public efforts on improving its product offering with a safety-first approach that allowed the destination to continue welcoming travelers in a safe and secure environment. Los Cabos has been a preferred destination for new and returning travelers alike looking for destinations in close proximity to the U.S. with personalized experiences that would guarantee a level of confidence during the travel turmoil. And Los Cabos’ air connectivity via commercial or private aviation has made it an accessible destination to the U.S.
Los Cabos recovered 100 percent of all its travel activity back in 2021 and is on track to achieve a remarkable growth again this year with projections to close 2022 with over 20 percent growth in visitation compared to 2021. In 2023, we expect to see the trend of longer stays and demand for more personalized, private services from our visitors. To reflect this, travelers have increased their spend in the destination – for example, visitors’ average trip spend in Los Cabos is $2,500 vs $1,100 for Mexico overall.
TP: The rise of technology has helped transform the tourism industry, with Los Cabos now implementing a 360-degree Tour virtual experience, which allows travelers to experience the region before visiting. How do you think this will impact the tourism numbers and what advantage does it provide for those ready to adopt Web3 and Metaverse technologies?
RE: The 360-degree Tour virtual experience provides a rich and interactive aerial and ground panoramic imagery that I believe will excite visitors and planners and help them discover what Los Cabos has to offer. We anticipate it will help boost leads, bookings and spend in the destination as the platform allows you to book reservations and tickets and create a travel itinerary before arrival.
For those eager to adopt Web3 and Metaverse technologies, the platform offers an easily flow from one geo-location to another and from the sky to the ground. There is no other technology that uses this aerial-to-ground immersive technology and Los Cabos is the first destination in Latin America to implement it.
TP: Los Cabos is also giving back to travel advisors, as all certified Los Cabos Specialist Advisors can record client bookings to accumulate points that qualify them to receive gift cards. How important are agents to your destination and what else are you doing to reward them for their hard work?
RE: Travel advisors and partners are critical to the success of Los Cabos. They offer trusted advice and unique suggestions to many travelers, whether they’re new to the destination or more familiar. We work with many advisors to ensure that they have the most up-to-date information about Los Cabos properties, happenings, amenities, and protocols.
The Los Cabos Specialist platform will have incredible resources, such as videos, maps, images, and even a training course that will provide them with the opportunity to become certified as a specialist in the most exclusive destination in Mexico. Additionally, by becoming a Los Cabos specialist, travel advisors and their clients will also get exclusive benefits and amenities at hotels throughout Los Cabos.
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