As the summer ends and the high season nears, Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit slowly get ready for things to return to some level of normalcy. Airlines have announced new flights and some cruise ships plan to return. So far Norwegian Cruise and Carnival Cruises have said they plan to return in November. They may not be completely full, but at least they will be starting up their regular routine routes again.
From Canada, five airlines have announced they will be resuming flights to Vallarta/Nayarit from cities such as Winnipeg, Quebec, Toronto, and Vancouver. And from the U.S., American Airlines has announced a temporary flight between Vallarta and Charlotte, starting in December. Grupo Aeroportuario del Pacífico has estimated that during the first 15 days of October, about 464 flights will arrive in Puerto Vallarta, an important increase that reflects the eventual recovery of tourism for this region.
Luxury and economy-class hotels have been the hardest hit in Mexico with occupancy down 70% over last year while middle and upper middle-category hotels have seen 60% fewer guests in 2020. However, in Puerto Vallarta luxury flights continue to be high at Aerotrón, a good sign for the destination’s high-end market hotels and services.
Puerto Vallarta is leading the coronavirus recovery in terms of tourism, Mexico hotel data reports. The city enjoyed an August hotel occupancy rate of 33.9%, better than that of Los Cabos, which saw 25.8% occupancy, and the Mexican Caribbean which had a 25.4% occupancy rate. All three resort cities beat out tourism to Mexico City, Guadalajara, and Monterrey, indicating that leisure tourism is beginning to rebound whereas business travel may be slower to recover.
No doubt it will be challenging but the destination has been preparing, sticking with national health guidelines while slowly opening up bars, restaurants, and beaches, getting for what many hope will be a strong return of American and Canadian visitors.