doubt, Quintana Roo has an anchor that few destinations in the world have,
making it a viable tourism alternative on the international market. Among its
many blessings are its geographical location, stunning beaches, cultural
richness, natural and nautical attractions, as well as its high-end services. All
this inside a 250-km (155-mi) radius covering a wide array of destinations such
as Cancun, Isla Mujeres, Holbox, Cozumel, Playa del Carmen, Puerto Morelos,
Sian Ka’an, Tulum, Coba, Chichen Itza and Valladolid, to mention the most
important. This variety translates into endless possibilities for the visitor,
a quality that other tourist destinations on our continent would be
hard-pressed to develop.
As if that weren’t enough, over the last few years new investments have been made in order to develop a concept that is well-utilized in Orlando and Las Vegas: theme parks and hotels.
Xcaret, owned by Miguel Quintana Pali, the creative genius behind the current
collection of the most successful tourist parks in Quintana Roo State, has
recently ventured into the hotel market. Soon to be added to this product line,
two new theme park complexes—Xavage and He’e Elel—are
currently in the construction and planning stage, respectively. Nearly
concluded, Xavage is scheduled to open at the end of 2018. Its concept is one
of adventure, including kayaks, rafting, ATV’s, jet skis and ziplines. He’e
Elel will be an eco-tourism nature park utilizing the underground rivers on the
55-hectare property, where visitors will also be able to enjoy hiking, cycling,
and cenote access. This project involves an investment of 80 million pesos.
In other theme park news, construction of the Amikoo project was announced in 2017, the product of an alliance between the IUSA firm and Grupo Gala. To be built on 120 hectares in the area known as Punta Maroma in Playa del Carmen, this ambitious project is set to be an 840 million pesos investment. The first phase—slated to be completed at the end of this year—will mainly include a 320-room hotel, a museum of Mayan archeology and anthropology, a panoramic flight simulator, an underground submarine simulator and a wave pool. Its inauguration is scheduled for June 2019. Later, the convention center, a shopping area, a gastronomic center, and a concert arena will be constructed. The second phase will include the Amikoo theme park, featuring state-of-the-art mechanical attractions divided into different zones: Park Maya Extreme, Maya Adventure, Maya Discovery and Amikoo Land. This phase will not be concluded until 2021. Thereafter, construction of Amikoo Resort will be completed, also with themed areas. In all, the hotel infrastructure will include 1,200 rooms. Business projections estimate that during the first two years of operation Amikoo will receive two million visitors per year, but once the entire project has been completed, visitor traffic is expected to double.
Thus, a new theme park-based investment model is rapidly taking shape; it is something that has already demonstrated tremendous success in destinations such as Orlando. And just like in Las Vegas, brands such as Hard Rock Café, Nickelodeon and—soon—Margaritaville will develop new hotels based on themed franchise concepts, increasing the tourism market in the Mexican Caribbean.