MIAMI – A new airport is in the works for Tulum, Quintana Roo. It is expected to help boost the economy in southeastern Mexico. Additionally, it will increase business and tourism in that area.

Plans for the airport were first publicized in 2010. It would sit on 3,707 acres (1500 hectares) of land and get around 3 million passengers a year. The project never took off, but ten years later, it is back on the drawing board.

“Quintana Roo is one of the fastest-growing states, I can tell you that the new Tulum airport will be built,” says Mexican President López Obrador. The announcement, however, was a surprise to Quintana Roo authorities. Tourism Minister Marisol Vanegas said she was unaware of Tulum getting its own airport.

Inside Terminal 4 at CUN. Photo: Vmzp85 via Wikimedia

Connecting Mexico to the World

Tulum has become a popular tourist destination in Mexico. Over 2 million people were visiting it per year prior to the pandemic. The city’s beautiful white-sand beaches and ancient ruins have drawn visitors from all over the world.

In order to reach Tulum, travelers must fly into Cancún International Airport (CUN) and then drive an hour and a half south. Cancún is one of the most-visited cities in Mexico, and prices there have skyrocketed over the years. The new airport in Tulum will save travelers time and money.

Besides increasing tourism, the Tulum airport will complement Mexico’s planned Mayan Train. This high-speed rail route will form a 948 mi (1,525 km) loop through 5 states with 17 stations. It will be completed and opened by 2022.

Cancún International Airport. Photo: Wiki Commons

Promoting Economic Recovery

Vanegas says the Tulum airport and Mayan Train will help Quintana Roo’s economy rebound after the pandemic. Despite recommended testing, Mexico has eased its COVID-19 entry requirements. Visitors are eager to return to the country; Cancún alone saw over 70,000 thousand tourists within its first month of reopening.

As of now, no construction start date for the Tulum airport has been announced. Mexican authorities are waiting to see if the airport will be a private project, or if it will have an official investment.

Tulum Mayan ruins. Photo: Dronepicr / WikiMedia Commons