In the wake of Hurricanes Irma and Maria which ravaged much of the Caribbean basin and Florida, and two massive earthquakes in Mexico, Canadian leisure travel options in North America’s hot countries have taken a huge hit.
Though the 7.1 magnitude quake centred in Puebla State just south east of Mexico City (followed by a 6.1 magnitude aftershock) got most of the media attention, an earlier, and even bigger 8.2. quake that epicentred 120 km off shore in the Pacific, attacking the coastal southwestern states of Oaxaca, Chiapas and Tabasco, killed more than 100 residents and virtually shut down a normally bustling tourism industry.
The combination of the two quakes and a high-magnitude aftershock, barely a week apart, covering huge areas of central Mexico to its southern border with Guatemala, have put a huge question mark over the ability of these areas to rebuild, and the availability of an infrastructure able to sustain the huge tourism numbers Mexico has been racking up in recent years.
In 2016, Mexico attracted 1.6 million Canadian leisure travelers, more than any country other than the U.S.: more than Cuba, which until the arrival of hurricane Irma, was projected to receive approximately 1.25 million Canadians in 2017.
As it stands now, Mexico is Canada’s most favored leisure travel destination—second only to the U.S.
Now what for Mexican tourism?
Thankfully, the area around Cancun, on Mexico’s Caribbean shore, remains untouched by September’s natural upheavals, and this beach area does account for an inordinately large share of Canada’s travel enthusiasm.
But recent surveys have revealed that Canadians have been showing more and more interest in visiting Mexico for its historical and cultural values. In fact, in one recent survey, more than half of Canadians who planned to visit Mexico said they planned to participate in guided tours, cultural activities, culinary delights, and historical discoveries.
If you are considering travel to Mexico this coming winter, stay current on government advisories and on reliable reports about the state of properties affected in the quake zones.
If prices for certain properties seem too good to be true they probably are, but don’t let skepticism stand in your way of getting a good deal and enjoying the hospitality Mexico is known for.
To protect your vacation assets, try to keep your non-refundable deposits to a minimum and protect them with insurance that coincides with the value of the trip you are buying. Also try to find travel insurance that allows you to change your mind later on if you feel uneasy about completing your trip.
Have current natural disasters affected your travel plans? Call our experts to talk about your trip cancellation and trip interruption coverage.