Los Cabos, Mexico Hits Record Tourism Numbers—Here’s Why


Los Cabos is located at the southern tip of Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula, in the state of Baja California Sur. It’s where the Sea of Cortez meets the Pacific Ocean. The region has long since been a favorite destination place for American travelers, so it’s not surprising that the destination has quickly recovered post covid pandemic. We talked to Rodrigo Esponda, Managing Director of the Los Cabos Tourism Board, about travel trends and the changing demographic of the Los Cabos traveler.

Record Number of Travelers

Are travelers returning to Los Cabos post-pandemic? How are visitor numbers?

Los Cabos is doing great and is experiencing a historic growth in demand and arrivals of international travelers.

Los Cabos not only recovered 100% of all of its travel active in 2021, but is on track to achieve a remarkable growth. Year-to-date, the U.S. market has presented a record growth of almost 15% in arrivals when compared to 2019. With over 2.8 million visitors in 2021 and record growth of 47.3% in visitation from the U.S. during the first six months of 2022 compared to the same time in 2021, Los Cabos has established itself as a preferred travel destination for U.S. travelers.

The destination’s fast recovery can be attributed to two important factors. One is people’s desire to travel and to experience new activities in a safe and secure environment. To that end, Los Cabos has been the choice to loyal and repeat visitors that were familiar with the destination and trusted Los Cabos due to the destination’s quick response to the pandemic. Additionally, Los Cabos has been a preferred destination for new travelers looking for destinations in close proximity to the U.S. with personalized experiences that would guarantee a level of confidence during the current travel turmoil. Los Cabos’ close proximity to the US and air connectivity via commercial or private aviation has allowed travelers of all types to visit the destination with confidence.

The second factor can be attributed to Los Cabos’ response protocols to crisis. COVID-19 brought challenges to the travel industry but it was also an opportunity for the destination to strengthen its safety and security protocols, that were established even before the pandemic to ensure business continuity during challenging times. During COVID, Los Cabos focused all of its private and public efforts on improving its product offering with a safety-first approach that allowed the destination to continue welcoming travelers in a secure environment.

Luxury Travel in Los Cabos

Talk about the demographic of your visitors. Who is traveling to Los Cabos?

The pandemic has propelled the arrival of affluent travelers looking for unique and tailored experiences in our safety-first centered destination. There are abundant luxury-focused options for in the destination for these travelers. For example, in May 2022, Virtuoso Hotels & Resorts announced the acceptance of Nobu Hotel Los Cabos into its signature list of luxury hotels, positioning Los Cabos as the only destination in Mexico, Latin America, and the Caribbean with 13 Virtuoso properties and the one with most luxury rooms per square feet in Mexico.

Many of our luxury travelers start their luxury experience even prior to arrival – Los Cabos has become Mexico’s busiest travel spot for private aviation and the destination of choice for international travelers traveling via private flights. Notably, Los Cabos recorded a nearly 80% growth in arrivals of international travelers via private aviation in 2021 when compared to 2019, representing a 26% of all air travel activity.

From luxury travelers looking for personalized services to conscious visitors looking for authentic wellness and sustainable experiences that allow them to disconnect and recharge, Los Cabos have continued to see a high demand from U.S travelers that are willing to stay for longer periods of time and spend more on experiences.

Last Minute Bookings, but Longer Stays

What travel trends are you seeing in Los Cabos?

Overall, travelers are staying longer and demanding more personalized services that range from private accommodations, exclusive transportation via private aviation to authentic experiences with a high level of customer service.

One trend we’ve seen in the destination is that tourists are booking trips closer to the date of departure, but are staying for longer. For example, in May 2022, 29.1% of flight ticket purchases to Los Cabos were made two months in advance, an increase from 23.8% in May 2019. On average, bookings were made 52 days before the travel date, which is 20 fewer days compared to the average in May 2019. In July 2022, the average stay was 6.5 days.

Travel Post Covid

How has covid affected things?

COVID-19 has accelerated a trend for sustainability in general and in the travel industry, and I think it’s going to be one of the most favored things that we see develop further.

After COVID-19, everyone is focused on making sure that tourism activity is sustainable not only in the short term but also the long term. This is no longer the traditional understanding of sustainability with “environment” as the main focus, but sustainability at a deeper level – it’s a cohesive look at the total well-being of the destination, including the environment, community, and the travelers with a look how sustainable you are living in a community that interacts with tourism.

Travelers now look for a more meaningful connection between the community and the environment, so I think that over the next few years, everyone is going to implement more measures to make sure that sustainability and balance is achieved.

New Hotel Openings in Los Cabos

Are there any new hotel or restaurant openings?

We have excited about hotel growth with 540 new rooms to be added from 2022 to 2024. This includes the St. Regis Los Cabos at Quivira, Four Seasons Resort and Residences Cabo San Lucas at Cabo del Sol in 2023, Park Hyatt in 2023, Vidanta East Cape in 2023, Amanvari in 2024 and Soho House & Beach Club in 2024.

We have a gastronomic area named 23400 District in downtown San José del Cabo. This is a traditional Mexican town with plazas, churches and markets. Almost every restaurant is within walking distance. This past year, the destination developed “Tasty Tuesdays” where they offer special menus and feature the chefs and local recipes, local ingredients. We want to create a synergy in the area, around the restaurants, around the art galleries and around a community, that offers a unique experience as visitors explore the area.

We are also developing a few projects around the community in the more rural areas. There are some historic destinations at a very close distance to Los Cabos that you can visit and learn more about traditional missionaries in the Baja California Sur Peninsula.


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Should You Tip Your Food Driver If You Are Already Paying Delivery Fees?


When you’re out for dinner, tipping your waiter or waitress is expected of you. As per American custom, the average amount restaurant-goers tip is about 15 to 20 percent of the bill.

But, when it comes to delivery drivers, social customs don’t seem to be as clear. So, should you tip the delivery driver, and if so, how much?

A new survey shows that on average, only 15.7 percent of Americans tip their driver when getting food delivered, and 64 percent of them tip a percentage of the food cost versus a flat amount.

People are evenly divided on how they tip, with over half of the respondents, 52 percent, tipping in cash and 46 percent tipping via the app they ordered with.

Newsweek has gathered information from delivery drivers and delivery service providers, to find out whether or not you should tip your delivery driver.

Should You Tip Your Delivery Driver?

driver delivering pizzas
A stock image shows a delivery driver delivering pizzas. Newsweek has gathered information from delivery drivers and delivery service providers, to find out whether or not you should tip your delivery driver and how much if so.
Getty Images/Getty

Most food delivery providers encourage customers to tip drivers, even if they’re paying delivery fees, especially if the driver had to ride in the rain or if they had to put in some extra effort delivering an exceptionally large order.

A spokesperson for food ordering and delivery platform Grubhub told Newsweek: “Our drivers are a top priority for us, and tipping allows diners to show appreciation for the hard work that goes into delivering every order. That’s why we give diners the opportunity to easily add a tip at checkout in our app, and we encourage consumers to tip 20 percent for meals that arrive on time and as ordered.

“Diners are always welcome to tip drivers in cash if that’s their preference. We also encourage more generous tips for drivers who deliver large orders, have to drive or travel in inclement weather, or have to climb a few flights of stairs.”

For drivers, a tip on each order can make a big difference. In fact, they even try to avoid tipless trips whenever they can.

What Drivers Think About Tipping Culture

If you’re trying to order food but no driver is picking up your order it may be because you’re not a tipper, and as Ray, a delivery driver for Walmart explained, sometimes the driver would actually lose money picking up a tipless delivery.

He told Newsweek: “Myself and my daughter deliver food. I deliver for Walmart and she delivers for DoorDash. We rarely accept no tip orders, because 99 percent of the time, it would cost us to deliver. I’ve also noticed that the no-tippers request more and are more likely to leave a bad rating for absolutely no reason. My time, effort, and gas are most definitely deserving of a tip.”

Ray’s daughter, Lisa, also had a lot to say about this issue, pointing out that the situation for them is only getting worse.

She said: “I’ve been dashing for nearly three years and it’s getting much worse. DoorDash cut our base pay from $3.00 per order to $2.50 per order during the pandemic, and without the customer tipping, it’s simply not worth it with the outrageous gas prices.”

She added: “It’s a convenience service and should be treated as such. I am a former waitress and made very good tips walking the food from the kitchen to customer’s tables, so I’m really not understanding how anyone doesn’t tip when we wait for their orders and drive it to their house.”

DoorDash previously told Newsweek: “Nationally, on average, Dashers earn over $25 per hour they’re on a delivery, including 100 [percent] of tips, and work fewer than four hours a week.

“Dashers are always shown a guaranteed minimum amount they will earn for completing a delivery before they even accept the delivery, as well as the location and name of the restaurant, and estimated total mileage for the delivery so that they can make the best decision for themselves while dashing.”

An image sent by Lisa, delivery driver for DoorDash, shows a delivery she refused to pick up because of the low pay.
Lisa Wilson

Mark, a delivery driver from Georgia, who’s been working for Pizza Hut for roughly three months, told Newsweek that delivering food for a living is a very unhealthy profession, calling it a “roller coaster for tips.”

He said: “If the company paid delivery drivers a decent wage, it would be different. But, the wage they pay us drivers is very terrible. I make roughly $7.25 an hour to upwards of 10 dollars depending on what I am doing. If I am in the store, it’s $10, but if I am on the road it’s $7.25 an hour.

“They pay for mileage but even that is very hard to work with, as you literally have to drive their route or you end up spending gas instead of making back what you put in gas. Where I am it’s 40 cents a mile, so roughly 50 miles earns me $20 for the night.

According to figures from Talent.com, the average U.S. pizza hut delivery driver is paid $36,387 per year, or $18.66 per hour, with entry level positions starting at $29,250 annually.

“Tips is the worse of it, the most expensive delivery I have done was near $110, and got a 2-cent tip, the change of the money given, and it’s common where I live to get none to maybe 5 or 25 cents for the change out of the dollar. If you have a fuel-efficient vehicle, it’s worth it, but most kids and adults who are doing this job have the gas-guzzling old vehicles.”

“Some nights I make good in tips, well good for me is over 30 dollars in tips, but a lot of slow nights I make 5 to 10 dollars for 7 to 10 deliveries. So yes, delivering food no matter what it is, can really be a terrible way to live. Not getting a tip and having to drive 10 miles round trip really affects people.”

How Much You Should Tip A Delivery Driver?

According to Ridester, when you’re ordering food online, tipping etiquette usually falls right in line with the standard 15 percent, which it says is fine for standard or small orders that are easy to pick up and drop off, but not enough for larger orders.

When it comes to large orders, like requests that involve more than two bags, they recommend a base tip of at least 18-20 percent, “to ensure your driver is well-compensated for their efforts.”

What Percentage Of The Tip Actually Goes To The Delivery Driver?

A spokesperson for DoorDash told Newsweek that delivery drivers earn over $25 per hour when they’re on delivery, including 100 percent of tips.

“Dasher pay is based on base pay, customer tips, and promotions. Base pay is calculated based on the estimated time, distance, and desirability of an order. Applicable promotions such as Peak Pay and Challenges are added to base pay after the order is accepted, as well as 100 percent of customer tips, always,” said DoorDash, adding that “every dollar customers tip is an extra dollar in the Dasher’s pocket.”

“The Essential Guide to Tipping Your Delivery Driver” found on the Grubhub website, explains that while its tips always go to drivers, delivery fees don’t.

“When tipping on Grubhub, the tip money goes straight to the delivery drivers, as it should. Some orders may include an additional ‘delivery fee’, but this is not a tip (drivers do not receive this money), so make sure not to deduct this charge from your tip amount.”

But the way tips work is not a one-size-fits-all scenario, and Pizza Hut is a prime example.

According to the restaurant chain’s website, when you tip your drivers in cash, they keep the full amount, while tips paid through cards and Apple Pay are split, with 70 percent going to your server and the other 30 percent being distributed among the other team members working in the restaurant.

Do you have a similar monetary dilemma? Let us know via life@newsweek.com. We can ask experts for advice, and your story could be featured on Newsweek.


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