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Cancun’s Luxury Destination Hosts Event To Boost Tourism Despite Pandemic

The ILTM Luxury Travel trade show returns in an industry worth an estimated $2.05 trillion.

After a challenging year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the ILTM North America business luxury travel trade show returns to Mexico. It opens its doors to the public at the Fairmont Mayakoba Hotel, in the Riviera Maya, from Sept. 20 to 23.

The 2020 International Luxury Travel Market (ILTM) report shows that the global luxury travel business is worth an estimated $2.05 trillion. High-net-worth individuals make up the most valuable group of travelers and tourists, contributing just under half of the travel spending.

“We are thrilled to be able to return to the Riviera Maya in Mexico, so that new travel agents come here to plan newer and safer itineraries for high-net-worth travelers across North America,” said Simón Mayle, ILTM North America’s event director, at a press conference.

“This incredible destination is home to four of the world’s leading and most trusted brands: Andaz, Banyan Tree, Fairmont, and Rosewood. It also offers the option of outdoor activities,” he said.

The beach of the Fairmont Mayakoba Hotel has 240 acres and personal cabins, which allows more space between tourists in a natural environment. (Courtesy Fairmont Press)

In June 2020, hotels implemented new sanitary measures to help people regain the confidence to travel. Due to the new wave of coronavirus in Mexico, many hotels have been forced to reduce their occupancy. Roberto Cintrón, president of the Hotel Association, said that all accommodation centers will have to follow rigorous safety and hygiene protocols. Some properties have even performed PCR tests on their guests in recent weeks.

Silvia Ferrer, Marketing Director at Fairmont Mayakoba, spoke with Zenger about the protocols and measures on the property.

“We have a program where we ensure that our clients will have peace of mind on every step of their journey,” she said. “We have antigen and PCR tests for our customers. In addition, we follow a strict sanitary protocol: we take the temperature of everyone who enters, we make them fill a questionnaire, as well as give all customers both hand sanitizer and face masks in the check-in area; there are several stations with hand sanitizer across the hotel, all establishments have screens to sanitize incoming customers which are cleaned after each customer walks through it.”

Ferrer said the hotel had implemented all the available sanitary measures to allow travelers to be healthy. In restaurants, they have to maintain a low capacity as requested by authorities. All resorts must follow sanitary measures regardless of the event they are holding. He says these measures will ensure the health of customers and employees alike.

Mayle hopes that a strong correlation between credibility and security in the resorts along with travel demand will lead many consumers to be eager to travel freely and responsibly.

“We are excited to work with the Fairmont Mayakoba hotel to offer next September an event for our international guests, so that they attend with confidence, to be able to reconnect freely and safely,” he said.


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The Mayakoba resort complex and its hotels have had several programs dedicated to sustainability and social responsibility over the years.

“The complex covers 240 acres, which gives our customers security since they don’t have to suffer from a space limitation. Here, people don’t even have to see other customers, since the ‘rooms’ are small houses, unlike traditional hotels,” said Ferrer.

“The newer measures were already our day-to-day routine. We already had social distancing, privacy, and many of the other measures that hotels all around the country had to hastily implement to open, which forced them to be closed for months,” Ferrer said.

“Since June, we have reopened our doors and began to follow the measures requested by the government authorities, despite that we had already implemented many of those changes. It was the same with the need to have clean floors. As we are a tropical destination with a humid climate and a lot of nature, cleaning has always been one of our topmost concerns. Many people decided to come here because they said that they felt safe here, that they felt good.”

The ILTM is a benchmark of luxury in the hospitality industry. Its main goal is to bring together a select group of luxury travel buyers from Mexico, Canada and the United States. They expect that guests from 43 countries and 152 cities will travel to the region this year, and it is estimated that they will have to carry out over 6,000 business interviews.

Translated by Mario Alberto Vázquez, edited by Mario Alberto Vázquez and Kristen Butler

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