HISTORY OF CANCUN
During WW2 American servicemen stationed on Cozumel discovered what an amazing place this little island was for diving. In fact it was Americans who built the first air-field on the island. Cozumel is located a little south-west of Cancun.
After the war word spread about the great diving at Isla Murejes and Cozumel and Mexico’s Carribean tourism industry began, albeit small. In 1959, Jacques Cousteau discovered the extent and beauty of Palancar, the coral reefs at the south of Cozumel and publicized it as one of the best places in the world to go diving.
During this period Mexico began ramping up for the 1968 Olympic games, which were to be held in Mexico City. Realizing the enormous amount of international attention that would be garnished on the country during and after the games, Mexico’s government wisely turned an eye to tourism, on a grand scale.
By 1969 The Bank of Mexico had begun developing the concept of Cancun as one of five new tourist destinations that would be created. Plans were made to convert this uninhabited jungle area into a tropical tourist mecca as well as open up new tourism possibilities by developing the infrastructure throughout the entire Yucatan region.
In 1974 Quintana Roo [the Mexican state where Cancun exists] officially gained statehood, Cancun International Airport opened its runways and the first hotel opened.