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Lack of international marketing information stalling Tren Maya sales

Riviera Maya, Q. R.– A lack of marketing information has stalled international promotion of the Maya Train. The train, which is operating nearly five of its seven routes, continues to attract few international travelers.

The problem, says Jesús Almaguer, President of the Hotel Council of the Mexican Caribbean, is the lack of international market information.

Last week, the Mexican Caribbean began a new national tourism promotion that highlighted the state’s destinations and attractions as well as its new infrastructure. That included the promotion of the new Tulum International Airport, greater air connectivity around the state and the operational routes of the Tren Maya.

For international marketing, hotels continue to wait for authorities to deliver promotional material for the out-of-country market. According to Almaguer, hotels still do not have package itineraries for that market.

During the recent tourism fair in Acapulco, Tren Maya was promoted to the national market. Photo: CGC April 2024.

“The administrative part of the Maya Train has not announced the packages or prices that guarantee the frequencies so that the product can be sold in the international market,” he explained.

He said that although the Tren Maya project has participated in international fairs, until now it has not been possible to promote it. “It is a good product which, if promoted properly will be very strong, but promotion cannot be carried out because the material for its marketing has not been delivered,” he explained.

David Ortiz, President of the Tulum Hotel Association says the region’s greater air connectivity is already part of the new promotion campaign that Quintana Roo is launching to wholesalers and tour operators.

He says without a doubt the issue of connectivity that the Mexican Caribbean offers today with the Maya Train allows the region to be potentialized.

“This connection offers a very interesting variety of attractions which makes us stand out above other Caribbean destinations,” he said.

According to figures released by the Tren Maya company, less than 3 percent of tickets sold are to international travelers.

When the train first began operations, the number of sold tickets was provided to the public. They were broken down by region and national and international ticket purchasers.

The last time international ticket information was provided by Óscar David Lozano, the General Director of the Tren Maya company, was in mid-February for the first nearly two months of operation.

According to the company, “in the first 55 days of operation, the train transported 50,976 passengers of which 1,787 were international tourists, representing 3.5% of the total.”

Since then, only one additional ticket sales update has been released which was at the end of February. It was at the time when section 5 north, the Cancun-Puerto Morelos-Playa del Carmen route, opened.

For that informative update, Tren Maya reported 64,370 passengers in 70 days of operation, but did not provide separate national and international ticket sales. What they did provide differently was the point of sale.

Nearly 90 percent of tickets are purchased in person at Tren Maya kiosks.

According to that particular Tren Maya update, of the 64,370 passengers, “58,012 purchased their tickets at ticket offices, while 6,358 did so through the official website.”

The Maya Train is currently operating 24 of the 34 stops that will make up the entire route. There is no estimated completion date for the remaining sections.