A busy train station with multiple modern green and white trains parked at the platform as passengers board and alight, with the station infrastructure in the background.

Why Tourism Operators Ignore the Mayan Train

Despite the Mayan Train being marketed for tourists, travel agencies are yet to offer it as part of their packages. This is largely due to their lack of knowledge about its operations, rates, and the fact that it is not yet fully operational. The tourism sector is eager for more information about the service, but so far, no representative from the Mayan Train has reached out to provide details about its specifics, frequencies, costs, included services, reservation policies, ticket purchase, and payment methods.

Usually, when a new air route is launched, airlines visit agencies to present and demonstrate all conditions, the reservation process, payment, and operations. However, this has not happened with the Mayan Train. As a result, travel agents are not promoting the service nor including it in any tourist packages.

Foreign tourists planning a tour through some point on the peninsula or taking a multi-point tour do not ask to travel or learn about the Mayan Train. Additionally, travel agencies at their places of origin are also unaware of it, which does not generate interest.

There is currently little interest in the Mayan Train due to negative reports of failures, derailments, stranded passengers, poor on-board service, and overpriced food. Some tourism operators are hesitant to offer a service that has received such negative feedback.

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The Mayan Train, if well operated, well managed, well served, and well informed to the service providers, could potentially be successful in the future. However, it does not address an urgent need for tourism. Those wishing to tour the Peninsula already have transportation options through vehicles and roads that connect all tourist points of interest in the area.

The Mayan Train is not bringing a new market niche or an attractive service. It may be appealing, but it is not creating a new market niche. For example, the upcoming opening of luxurious international hotel chains in Yucatán is expected to bring a new market niche, attracting tourists who previously did not visit Yucatán due to the lack of such hotels.

The Mayan Train does not have the same appeal. No one is going to say: "I want to go to Yucatan because I am going to travel on the Mayan Train." If there is interest in the society, it is not a determining factor to decide to go to Yucatan. The president of the Yucatan Mexican Hotel Association, Juan José Martín Pacheco, stated that the Mayan Train has had no impact to date.