TULUM, Mexico – In the bustling heart of Quintana Roo, Tulum emerges as a beacon of sustainable growth amidst its burgeoning tourism and infrastructure developments. David Ortiz Mena, Vice President of the Caribbean Mexican Hotel Council and President of the Tulum Hotels Association, recently expressed a critical viewpoint on this evolution during the International Tourism Trade Fair (Fitur) in Madrid. His concerns highlight the delicate balance Tulum faces: fostering growth while preserving environmental and cultural integrity.
Ortiz Mena, an influential figure in the region’s tourism sector, emphasized the need for strategic development, particularly in the wake of new projects like the Maya Train and the upcoming Felipe Carrillo Puerto International Airport in Tulum. These ambitious initiatives aim to enhance connectivity and attract global visitors, but Ortiz Mena warns that unchecked expansion could lead to chaos rather than sustainable progress.
“Tulum is on the cusp of experiencing growth beyond what we’ve already seen, and that’s saying something,” Ortiz Mena stated. “Our responsibility is to ensure this growth is not haphazard but visionary.”
At Fitur, Ortiz Mena and other Quintana Roo representatives not only promoted the 12 destinations of the region but also introduced a forward-looking agenda for 2025-2035. This roadmap underscores the need for maintaining security, tourism promotion, and an inclusive development model designed to bridge inequality gaps.
Ortiz Mena acknowledges that discussing these ideals is simpler than actualizing them. He points to a seeming loss of federal-level vision in tourism, underscoring the urgency for local and state authorities to take definitive action.
The Maya Train, a project that has garnered significant interest at Fitur, is a prime example of untapped potential. While currently operational, it hasn’t yet been fully developed as a tourist product. “We have trains moving from point A to B, but its role as a tourism catalyst is still unfolding,” Ortiz Mena elaborated. This project, once fully realized, could enhance mobility across Quintana Roo, potentially extending visitor stays and enriching their experience.
The Felipe Carrillo Puerto International Airport in Tulum is another focal point of development, drawing considerable interest partly due to Tulum’s robust brand. “Tulum is a destination of immense diversity, transcending beyond sun and sand,” Ortiz Mena explained. “Its rich blend of archaeological sites, cenotes, living Mayan culture, and unparalleled service quality make it stand out in the Caribbean.”
Quintana Roo’s delegation has already engaged in talks with various airlines eager to establish new routes to this airport, supplementing rather than replacing those in Cancun. The short-term expectation includes launching three new flights from Europe.
Fitur’s attendance this year exceeded the previous by 10%, reflecting a buoyant optimism for the 2025 event, where Mexico will be a partner country. This anticipation mirrors the growing interest in Tulum and Quintana Roo as premier global destinations.
Ortiz Mena’s insights at Fitur paint a vivid picture of Tulum’s future: one brimming with potential but fraught with challenges. As Tulum and Quintana Roo stride forward, the balance between growth and sustainability remains the critical fulcrum on which their success will pivot.