The Mexican authorities are working to reduce waiting times at immigration checkpoints and streamlined entry procedures. Wait times are expected to be further reduced with the introduction of digital passport control at the airport.
This year, tourists traveling to Cancun have reported unusually long lines at passport and customs checks. The problem was most concerning in March, when travelers reported wait times of up to two hours.
As the Mexican Caribbean prepares for a record summer season, officials believe the new changes will make airport travel more enjoyable for visitors..
This year, immigration authorities have already taken steps to address excessive wait times at airports by hiring new staff at peak times.
However, tourism leaders in Cancun warn that more needs to be done to improve immigration procedures and speed up other airport operations. This is particularly important given the large number of international visitors expected in Cancun this summer, especially from the United States.
According to Eduardo Dominguez Ibarra, vice president of the Cancun Hotel Association, airport waiting times have improved significantly.
During peak hours, some arrivals halls managed to reduce the wait time from two hours to one hour. He claims that as a result of many discussions with immigration authorities in March, the airport was able to speed up migration procedures such as passports and customs checks.
The Instituto Nacional de Migração (INM) is responsible for immigration control in Mexico and is currently implementing new electronic border controls to help foreign arrivals in Cancún.
The new digitized border controls, which use biometric technology, are the first at Mexican airports, and immigration officials are preparing to use them. In March, the airport announced the hiring of around 100 more border and customs guards to deal with the increased passenger volume.
Waiting times also depend on the arrival terminal as well as the total number of flights scheduled, which greatly affects the flow of passengers.
According to the April figures, the average wait time in Terminal 2 was less than 7 minutes. Terminals 3 and 4 reported typical wait times between 8 and 15 minutes.
However, at peak times, visitors can wait up to an hour to go through immigration screening.
Despite the encouraging news, visitors still face long lines at customs, particularly for specific locations in the Caribbean and South America, which authorities aim to eliminate.
In addition, several companies that provide shuttle services for arriving visitors are experiencing baggage handling delays, which tour operators plan to address this year.