Travel and hospitality conglomerate Apple Leisure Group will invest an estimated US $1 billion over the next three years to open six new hotels in Quintana Roo.
The 450-room Sunscape Star Hotel, located on Costa Mujeres just north of Cancún, will be the first of the six new properties to open, welcoming its first guests in April 2019.
Construction of a 534-room Now Natura Hotel and 407-room Secret Marinas Resort will begin in Puerto Morelos next year. Both properties are expected to open at the end of 2020.
Construction of two new resorts under Apple’s adult-only Breathless brand will also commence next year in Playa del Carmen. Together the two properties will have 700 rooms.
A project to build another 500-room Breathless property is already under way in Cancún’s hotel zone.
A new Reflect Krystal Grand Hotel, a joint venture of Apple and the Santa Fe Hotel Group, was inaugurated this week as part of the events of Cancún Travel Mart 2018.
Apple Leisure Group CEO Alejandro Zozaya Gorostiza said that Quintana Roo is already the consortium’s most important destination and that it has more hotel rooms in the state than any other chain.
However, he said that insecurity in Quintana Roo has caused a decline in visitor numbers especially from the United States, which has forced the company’s hotels to drop rates and seek to attract tourists from other markets.
The biggest losses have come from the cancellation of conferences and weddings, Zozaya explained.
The tourism industry is currently working with the state government to prepare a new tourism campaign for the United States as part of efforts to shake off the bad reputation the Mexican Caribbean has acquired due to rising levels of violence.
Zozaya said that he didn’t expect the sector to begin to recover until 2020.
Authorities hope that a new military police base inaugurated just north of Cancún this week will help to combat the crime problem.
Cancún and surrounding areas “should offer optimal security conditions for the millions of visitors who come here each year,” President Peña Nieto said.
Jim Hepple is an Assistant Professor at the University of Aruba and is Managing Director of Tourism Analytics.