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The Mexican state of Yucatan announces enhanced travel connectivity

The Mexican state of Yucatan announces enhanced travel connectivity

The Mexican state of Yucatan, considered to be the safest state in the country, is now improving its travel connectivity. The Maya Train, connecting five states, was inaugurated in December and is set to operate on all its routes by late February.

“We in Yucatan view the Maya Train as a tool for decentralisation, which already makes it sustainable,” stated the state’s Secretary of Tourism, Michelle Fridman Hirsch, at the International Tourism Fair (FITUR), that took place from 24th-28th January in Madrid, Spain.

The train was inaugurated by President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on the 15th December. The project has been promoted by his administration despite facing strong criticism from environmental activists.

“We think the train, which in Yucatan runs alongside the road minimising environmental impact, presents numerous opportunities for us,” Fridman further commented.

The Maya Train reflects a commitment to sustainable tourism development in the state, aiming to decentralise tourism in the region. “We have worked hard to create, develop, and establish a new decentralised and diversified approach to tourism so that people don’t concentrate in just one place, as happens in Chichen Itza or Merida,”” stated the official.

In addition to decentralising “so that the masses of visitors don’t cause issues for the region,” the train will contribute to a greater economic boost. “We’re observing an increase in tourist numbers and longer stays from those who visit. We’ve experienced an 87% growth in economic impact since the beginning of the pandemic,”” the spokesperson mentioned.

The train’s route encompasses the states of Quintana Roo, Yucatan , Campeche, Tabasco, and Chiapas. The first phase saw the opening of the section between Cancun and Campeche, with the completion of the remaining routes scheduled for 29th February this year, the official inauguration date. In Yucatan, the will make 7 stops, including some of the most prominent destinations within the state: Valladolid, Chichen Itza, Izamal and Merida.

Alongside land connectivity, there’s an expansion in international air travel routes. The state’s Secretary of Tourism has said “We’re adding flights to Miami, Orlando, Atlanta, and there’s another one in the pipeline”.

In 2023, the state saw record-breaking numbers of travellers, according to Fridman. Specifically, the Merida International Airport in the capital welcomed 3.7 million passengers, a boost attributed to the opening of new routes.