Flight searches to the main holiday destinations in the country show clear signs of recovery for September and October, whilst Mabrian’s Security Perception Index appears to be stable.
Mexico is the seventh most affected country with regards to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to updated data from the Centre for Systems Science and Engineering endorsed by the World Travel and Tourism Council. Despite figures for the virus reaching 647,000 cases, there have been over 538,000 recoveries and the daily count of new cases shows a downward trend since the beginning of August.
This data should enable tourism recovery for the last quarter of the year. In order to support this trend, Mabrian Technologies, a consulting firm specialised in Big Data and Travel Intelligence, has carried out an analysis of the evolution of the Security Perception Index and of the demand in flight searches for three of the main holiday destinations in Mexico: Cancun, Los Cabos and Puerto Vallarta.
Security Perception Index for the destinations
The evolution of the Security Perception Index between June and August shows high levels of confidence for the three destinations. Los Cabos is the destination which shows the highest level of confidence throughout the timeframe analysed, followed by Cancun. On the other hand, Puerto Vallarta’s level of confidence seems to be particularly affected towards the end of July due to a serious security incident at the time with a group of domestic tourists, unrelated to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Security Perception vs Demand
In order to tie together the evolution of confidence with demand to these destinations, Mabrian has carried out a specific analysis comparing these indicators. To do so, the daily evolution of the global Security Percepton Index for the destination was analysed in parallel with the evolution of flight searches from ten main origin markets for any future date.
In general terms, the data shows that fluctuations in the Security Perception Index tend to have a direct impact on the demand for flight searches, sometimes immediately and sometimes taking a few days to appear. The widespread drop in demand around the 7th of July is particularly noteworthy. This coincides with the publication of data related to one of the most difficult weeks of the pandemic in Mexico, whereby the increase in the spread of the virus was at its worst and the country became the fifth most affected in terms of volume of cases.
Each destination however shows distinctive patterns. In terms of Security Perception, both Cancun and Los Cabos show similar dynamics with stable values. However, in terms of demand, Los Cabos shows the lowest progress between June and August. Despite Cancun leading the way in terms of absolute volume of flight searches, there is a slight downward trend during the timeframe analysed.
Puerto Vallarta is the destination which shows the least favourable trend with regards to both indicators. Globally, between June and August, there is a downward trend in the Security Perception as well as in the demand for flight searches. This evolution seems to be related to the change in trend towards the third week of July and seems to be related to the aforementioned security issue rather than a direct relation to the pandemic.
Demand forecast for the fourth quarter
The data analysis of the evolution of flight searches demand for September and October show positive signs which could indicate a relaunch of demand. When taking a closer look at spontaneous searches carried out between the 1st and 22nd of August to travel to the three destinations analysed for travel between September and October, there is a substantial increase in interest.
More particularly, when comparing the searches carried out during the first 10 days of August vs those carried out in the following 10 days, the increase exceeds 50% in all cases. By destination, Cancun is the one which shows the highest growth trend, closely followed by Los Cabos and slightly further away by Puerto Vallarta.
Although this data gives reason to be optimistic, it’s important to take into account the high volatility faced by the tourism sector, not only in Mexico but globally. This underlines the importance of monitoring this type of indicator in real-time, as they help to reduce uncertainty and support better decision-making in the sector.