Published on September 1st, 2012 | by Mark Chesnut
Some Work, Some Play: Cancun Targets Business Travelers
BY MARK CHESNUT
Reprinted with permission from Latin Business Traveler: www.LatinBusinessTraveler.com
It may be known as a hotspot for vacationers, but Cancun – Mexico’s biggest-selling tourism destination – is also trying to attract meetings, conventions and other business travel. It’s not as far-fetched a business destination as it may seem: Cancun has an increasingly improved hotel inventory, easy accessibility, competitive pricing and well-developed meeting spaces.
Perhaps most compelling for companies hosting events with attendees from multiple places, Cancun is better positioned from a transportation standpoint than many resort cities. A confluence of international airlines serve Cancun International Airport, which is Mexico’s busiest airfield.
Cancun now also has more than 20 hotels with dedicated space for meetings, conventions and private events. The largest properties are located in the Zona Hotelera, the Hotel Zone, a slim peninsula that divides the Caribbean Sea from Nichupte Lagoon. Larger groups can make use of Cancun Center, a convention and exposition facility located in the heart of the hotel zone. It can host up to 6,000 people for conferences and 40,000 for expos.
As an established resort destination, Cancun has thousands of rooms and dozens of hotels at a variety of price points. Toward the upper end, the 365-room Ritz-Carlton, Cancun offers meeting services such as team-building activities – including culinary sessions at its Viking Culinary Center. The JW Marriott Cancun Resort & Spa is home to more than 20,000 square feet of meeting space as well as a 35,000-square-foot, Mayan-inspired spa.
All-Inclusive Resorts to Serve Business Needs
Recently, an increasing number of Cancun hotels have become “all-inclusive,” but several have chosen to forgo crowded, kid-infested swimming pools and substandard buffets in favor of upscale properties with extras like a-la-carte dining, international cuisine, 24-hour room service and “club level” accommodations.
The latest convert to the all-inclusive concept is the Gran Meliá Cancun, which by mid November will become the Paradisus Cancun Resort. The revamped property will have 136 Royal Service Suites in addition to its standard rooms, as well as eight restaurants, a nine-hole golf course and more than 10,000 square feet of meeting and convention space.
Another new name on the scene is Hard Rock, which its Hard Rock Hotel Cancun, a 601-room all-inclusive property with the brand’s signature Rock Star Suites plus five restaurants, five bars and lounges and a 16,408-square-foot convention center. The adults-only ME Cancun, part of Spain-based Melia’s youthful ME by Melía brand, has a unique selling point in Cancun’s all-inclusive scene: non-guests are allowed to visit its bars, restaurants and beach clubs. The property can host up to 450 guests in its five banquet halls and offers a VIP room category with private check-in and checkout.
And, of course, the destination still boasts beautiful beaches.
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