Sen. Ted Cruz is under fire for flying to Cancun, Mexico with his family as millions of Texans have weathered days without power during a deadly winter storm.
The Republican senator has since admitted the getaway was “obviously a mistake” as he returned stateside on Thursday, following fierce backlash from his constituents.
The Texas lawmaker, his wife and daughters are among tens of thousands of U.S. tourists who have traveled to Mexico between the end of 2021 and start of the New Year. The Quintana Roo state – a tourism hotspot home to Cancun, the Riviera Maya and Tulum – has welcomed over 961,000 visitors during this stretch, down only 25% from the previous year. What’s more, nearly half of those visitors were from the U.S.
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“Flights from the U.S. dried up last spring as the pandemic took hold but have risen steadily since then,” the Associated Press reports. In December, Quintana Roo averaged about 460 air arrivals and departures per day, as compared with a pre-pandemic average of 500 per day, state Tourism Secretary Marisol Vanegas Pérez said.
In January, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that negative tests would be required of passengers on all international flights to the U.S., following news of more infectious strains from abroad.
Meanwhile, several powerhouse hoteliers in Cancun and Los Cabos were quick to meet the moment, now offering free and affordable coronavirus testing options for guests to entice demand. Travel blog One Mile at a Time reports larger Hyatt and Hilton resorts in the area are among those involved.
CELEBRITIES LASH OUT AT TED CRUZ FOR CANCUN TRIP AMID TEXAS SNOW CRISIS: ‘HORRIFYING AND ENRAGING’
Back in the Lone Star State, hundreds of thousands of people awoke Thursday to a fourth day without power, while a water crisis unfolded as storms wreaked havoc on the state’s power grid and utilities.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.