Bienvenidos a Cancún!

Well known as a tourist destination because of its beautiful white sandy beaches, turquoise waters, moderate temperatures and international accessibility, the city on the Caribbean coastline of Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula is well on its way to reasserting itself as a must-consider location for business meetings and events.

Mexico’s group business, like many, was forced to deal with the ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic and took a very deliberate path to reopening.

But the resurgence is evident. Cancún International Airport, for example, handled more than 30 million passengers in 2022. During the first half of 2022 alone, the latest data available, Cancún drew nearly 47% of all foreign visitors to Mexico.

COMIR, the Mexican Council of the Meeting Industry, expects to attract more than 21 million participants resulting in nearly $60 billion in revenue this year from conventions throughout the country, with an average per-person spend of $362.

Cancún will be a major contributor to driving that revenue, with nearly 40,000 hotel rooms, a 152,000-square-foot convention center, and an infrastructure designed to support meeting planners and group meetings and events.

“Easy access by air from the U.S, gorgeous beaches, amazing food and beverage, the culture and the local entertainment are spectacular,” Kathy Roche, Director, Meeting Planner, Travel and Events for Western & Southern, said when asked about taking group business to Cancún.

“Pricing is great and very affordable for incentive and sales meetings. Always under budget in Cancún. Locals are friendly and welcoming, and I always feel safe at the five-star resorts. Weather is terrific, as well, most months of the year.”

Cancún offers a wide range of hotels and resorts catering to meetings and conventions of various sizes, along with professional services and suppliers that have worked with meeting planners.

What makes the destination even more appealing are the activities and attractions that can be incorporated into the conference agenda or after hours, such as water sports, golf, exploring ancient Mayan ruins and snorkeling in coral reefs and eco-parks. Cancún’s proximity to historical sites such as Tulum, Coba and Chichen Itza, or its unique underground rivers and cenotes—natural pits or sinkholes—allows attendees to explore the rich cultural heritage of the region. They can participate in team-building activities, attend themed events or organize off-site excursions to enhance the overall meeting experience. 

Safety, like anywhere, must be taken seriously, and the Cancún meeting and event industry works closely with local authorities to monitor issues.

“Cancún (while at a high-end resort) is very safe and provides a unique and memorable experience for your attendees,” Roche said.

Valeria Serrano, CEO of CTA Event Designer & DMC based in Cancún, said the destination has invested in its infrastructure to support the growing meeting industry, including a strong emphasis on safety and security for visitors.

“Combined with its impressive beaches, crystalline turquoise waters, a jungle rich in unique experiences and its warm hospitality and excellent service, Cancún offer a unique, pleasant and relaxing atmosphere for meetings.”

Kempinski Lands in North America

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Kempinski, known for its European flair, has ventured into Cancún as the newest ALHI Member in the destination, taking over the former Ritz-Carlton and rebranding it the Kempinski Hotel Cancún.

Kempinski undertook a refurbishment at the hotel, which features 363 guest rooms and suites. With an ideal location overlooking the Caribbean Sea, the hotel is Kempinski’s first in North America and recently celebrated the property’s 30th anniversary.

It's been a bold adventure for General Manager Aref Sayegh, a nearly 30-year hotel and hospitality industry veteran. He has worked tirelessly to bring the Kempinski model and service standards to the new property, working with a staff that has transitioned to the new ownership.

“Cancún has great choice of hotels, which are all different and attract all types of companies,” he said. “We are investing in ensuring that our resort stays up to date, and maintained as guests and convention groups expect the best. We are fortunate to have an average seniority of 18 years, which is rare in most of the hotels and gives an edge as Cancún is known for its warm hospitality.

“A lot of participants bring their families pre or post their meeting, which allows the attendees to combine both work and family. Cancún has been wrongfully portrayed as a party destination; however, the destination has hidden gems culturally and for business purposes.”

The five-star property features facilities designed to ease the meeting planner and attendee experience. It has a 27,000-square-foot conference center and a variety of other spaces, including an expansive ballroom, meeting rooms, boardrooms, breakout space and outdoor venues by the pool or beach. All the 363 guest rooms offer exquisite views of the Caribbean Sea.

The property’s experience for groups includes six restaurants, bars and catered functions. One of the most unique offerings is food experiences on the beach along with team-building options such as a tequila tasting. Kempinski Hotel Cancún is a European plan hotel, which means only the room is included in the rate.

Restaurants on property include Fantino, the Club Grill, El Café Mexicano, Casitas, Caribe Bar & Grill and D’ Lounge.

“Kempinski is synonymous with culinary and beverage experiences,” Sayegh said, noting the recent promotion of René Camelo, who has grown through the ranks in the hotel for over 23 years to Executive Chef “to keep the local flavor real.”

Two new chefs, Sanae Youns and Gilberto Puc, have joined the team to oversee two AAA Five-Diamond restaurants, Fantino and the Club Grill

“We have revamped our banquet’s offerings of amazing themed menus and our best asset is flexibility in crafting and personalizing anything for the group,” Sayegh added.

Kempinski Hotel Cancún quickly made an impression with Partners Personnel, a U.S. national staffing agency that brought an incentive group to the hotel earlier this year. While the initial meeting was planned under the previous ownership, Sayegh’s team executed the meeting and event.

Devin Wright, Executive Assistant to the CEO of Partners Personnel, planned the outing and was concerned initially about how the ownership transition would factor into the event.

“There was ample communication,” she said. “They were very forthcoming and transparent about the transition and then the handoff as well. It was smooth from one person to the next.”

From a welcome reception in the outdoor fountain courtyard, with Spanish acoustic guitars and mocktails to kick off the event, Wright said the group was at ease quickly.

“I come from 20 years of hospitality experience from restaurants and event planning, but also my dad ran hotels in San Francisco through the ’70s and ’80s,” she said. “So, it's a little bit in my blood and near and dear to my heart. The property itself is beautiful and everybody is kind and wonderful, but it's the attention to detail and the personal touch of remembering everybody's name, not just myself because I've been working with everybody and sending a bunch of emails. They made us feel at home and I loved that.”

She has simple advice for meeting planners considering the property and even Cancún.

“Do it, 100%,” she said. “I would recommend this for event planners, for friends and family, for myself to visit annually. We had the most incredible experience. I was nervous, like I said, coming into it just because you're not sure how a transition will happen. But it was seamless. And if anything, they exceeded my expectations and made me feel so comfortable and supported and anything that I needed.”

What’s New

Tulum Airport Opened Q2 2024

Currently, the area’s only major international airport is Cancún International Airport, with about 130 direct inbound flights daily. Tulum, about two hours south, is building a new airport, Tulum International Airport, also known as Felipe Carrillo Puerto, scheduled to open in May 2024, and is expected to have a significant impact on the region with a capacity to serve 4 million passengers annually.



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Taboo Beach Club Isla Mujeres

Located on the picturesque island of Isla Mujeres, known for its cultural richness and natural beauty, Taboo Beach Club provides an uninhibited and vibrant setting for beach parties.

Xcaret México Spectacular Show

The Xcaret Mexico Spectacular Dinner show is a mesmerizing celebration of Mexican culture set within the enchanting Xcaret Park. This immersive experience invites guests to indulge in a delectable seven-course dinner while being captivated by a vibrant showcase of Mexico's rich heritage.

The Travelers Table

The Travelers Table is a unique culinary experience offered by Connect DMC. This activity invites travelers to embark on a gastronomic journey that combines local flavors, cultural immersion and storytelling. The experience is a must-try activity for food enthusiasts and those seeking a deeper understanding of Mexican cuisine, which was declared an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2010.

Cirque du Soleil Joyà

Cirque du Soleil's Joyà is an extraordinary dinner experience that combines the mesmerizing artistry of Cirque du Soleil with a delectable culinary journey. Set in the Riviera Maya, Joyà takes guests on a captivating adventure filled with breathtaking acrobatics, enchanting storytelling and immersive performances.



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Puerto Madero

Experience the epitome of fine dining in Cancún, Mexico, at a renowned waterfront restaurant on the vibrant Yucatan Peninsula. Indulge in an exquisite menu highlighting succulent cuts of steak, fresh seafood and tantalizing dishes that cater to diverse palates. With breathtaking views, impeccable service and a warm, inviting ambiance, this culinary gem promises an unforgettable dining experience for any occasion.


Discover RosaNegra Tulum, an extraordinary restaurant located in the captivating Tulum Beach. With a mesmerizing beachfront setting, this renowned establishment offers a culinary experience like no other. Indulge in an exquisite menu showcasing a harmonious fusion of flavors, featuring fresh seafood, delectable cuts of meat and enticing options that cater to diverse tastes. Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere while enjoying outstanding service and breathtaking views, making this restaurant the perfect destination for an unforgettable dining experience.



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Fiesta Americana Condesa Cancún All Inclusive

This property has more than 20,000 square feet of dedicated meeting space with room for up to 1,100 people. There are 507 rooms on property with 14 food and beverage options that include such offerings as tropical Yucatan cuisine. The Miiluma Spa and bi-level swimming pool offer recreational options.


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Grand Fiesta American Coral Beach Cancún All Inclusive Spa Resort

Meeting facilities include more than 62,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor space for up to 1,700 attendees. There is the 15,351-square-foot Grand Coral Ballroom and 13 breakout rooms. Outdoor conference venues overlook the Caribbean. There are 602 oceanfront suites. Dining options include the AAA Five-Diamond Le Basilic and authentic Mexican at La Joya to fresh seafood and Mexican favorites at Isla Contoy.


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Kempinski Hotel Cancún

Featuring a 27,000-square-foot conference center ideal for large groups, corporate retreats, incentive meetings, training sessions, galas and wellness retreats, the resort offers a variety of spaces, including an expansive ballroom, elegant meeting rooms, boardrooms, breakout space and outdoor venues by the pool or beach. The property has 363 rooms and suites.


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Live Aqua Cancún All Inclusive

Live Aqua recently refurbished its 371 premium rooms and suites. For meeting planners, the property features more than 20,000 square feet of space including 17 meeting rooms and an exhibition center. For time away from work, attendees can use seven beachfront heated swimming pools and the Feel Harmony Spa.



For more activities and ideas, ask your ALHI GSO about working with Hosts Global Destination Services.