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'''Cancún''' is a city in southeastern [[Mexico]], located on the northeast coast of the [[Yucatán Peninsula]] in the Mexican state of [[Quintana Roo]]. It is an important renowned tourist destination in Mexico,<ref>{{cite web| title = OMT concede premio excelencia a la promoción turística de Cancún (México) | url = http://www.eleconomista.es/empresas-finanzas/noticias/144821/02/07/OMT-concede-premio-excelencia-a-la-promocion-turistica-de-Cancun-Mexico.html |publisher= El Economista | location = ES |accessdate = June 17, 2011|language = Spanish| date = 02/3/2007}}</ref> as well as being the seat of the municipality of [[Benito Juárez Municipality, Quintana Roo|Benito Juárez]]. The city is located on the [[Caribbean Sea]], and is one of the easternmost points in Mexico. Cancún is located just north of Mexico's Caribbean coast resort band known as the [[Riviera Maya]]. In older English-language documents, the city’s name is sometimes spelled "Cancoon".<ref>{{cite book|last1=United States. Congress. House. Select Committee on Aging. Subcommittee on Federal, State, and Community Services|title=Transportation, improving mobility for older Americans: hearings before the Subcommittee on Federal, State, and Community Services of the Select Committee on Aging, House of Representatives, Ninety-fourth Congress, second session|url=http://books.google.com/books?id=JRxDAQAAMAAJ&q=%22cancoon%22+mexico&dq=%22cancoon%22+mexico&hl=en&sa=X&ei=w9peVKfYDYKmyATiwYD4CQ&ved=0CE0Q6AEwBQ|website=Google Books|publisher=U.S. Government Printing Office|accessdate=9 November 2014}}</ref>
 
'''Cancún''' is a city in southeastern [[Mexico]], located on the northeast coast of the [[Yucatán Peninsula]] in the Mexican state of [[Quintana Roo]]. It is an important renowned tourist destination in Mexico,<ref>{{cite web| title = OMT concede premio excelencia a la promoción turística de Cancún (México) | url = http://www.eleconomista.es/empresas-finanzas/noticias/144821/02/07/OMT-concede-premio-excelencia-a-la-promocion-turistica-de-Cancun-Mexico.html |publisher= El Economista | location = ES |accessdate = June 17, 2011|language = Spanish| date = 02/3/2007}}</ref> as well as being the seat of the municipality of [[Benito Juárez Municipality, Quintana Roo|Benito Juárez]]. The city is located on the [[Caribbean Sea]], and is one of the easternmost points in Mexico. Cancún is located just north of Mexico's Caribbean coast resort band known as the [[Riviera Maya]]. In older English-language documents, the city’s name is sometimes spelled "Cancoon".<ref>{{cite book|last1=United States. Congress. House. Select Committee on Aging. Subcommittee on Federal, State, and Community Services|title=Transportation, improving mobility for older Americans: hearings before the Subcommittee on Federal, State, and Community Services of the Select Committee on Aging, House of Representatives, Ninety-fourth Congress, second session|url=http://books.google.com/books?id=JRxDAQAAMAAJ&q=%22cancoon%22+mexico&dq=%22cancoon%22+mexico&hl=en&sa=X&ei=w9peVKfYDYKmyATiwYD4CQ&ved=0CE0Q6AEwBQ|website=Google Books|publisher=U.S. Government Printing Office|accessdate=9 November 2014}}</ref>
   
'''Articles about Cancún''':
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'''Articles about {{PAGENAME}}''':
* [[Cancún:Accommodations]]
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* [[{{PAGENAME}}:Accommodations]]
* [[Cancún:Attractions]]
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* [[{{PAGENAME}}:Attractions]]
* [[Cancún:Children's activities]]
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* [[{{PAGENAME}}:Children's activities]]
* [[Cancún:Climate]]
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* [[{{PAGENAME}}:Climate]]
* [[Cancún:Current events]]
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* [[{{PAGENAME}}:Current events]]
* [[Cancún:Downtown]] (also known as "Benito Juarez")
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* [[{{PAGENAME}}:Downtown]] (also known as "Benito Juarez")
* [[Cancún:Food and drink]]
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* [[{{PAGENAME}}:Food and drink]]
* [[Cancún:Government]]
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* [[{{PAGENAME}}:Government]]
* [[Cancún:History]]
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* [[{{PAGENAME}}:History]]
* [[Cancún:Industry]]
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* [[{{PAGENAME}}:Industry]]
* [[Cancún:Media]] (newspapers, radio stations, etc.)
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* [[{{PAGENAME}}:Media]] (newspapers, radio stations, etc.)
* [[Cancún:Medical facilities]] (hospitals, clinics, etc.)
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* [[{{PAGENAME}}:Medical facilities]] (hospitals, clinics, etc.)
* [[Cancún:Museums]]
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* [[{{PAGENAME}}:Museums]]
* [[Cancún:Music]]
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* [[{{PAGENAME}}:Music]]
* [[Cancún:Natives]] (famous people born in Cancún)
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* [[{{PAGENAME}}:Natives]] (famous people born in {{PAGENAME}})
* [[Cancún:Organisations]]
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* [[{{PAGENAME}}:Organisations]]
* [[Cancún:Prominent people]] (which residents have been in the public eye?)
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* [[{{PAGENAME}}:Prominent people]] (which residents have been in the public eye?)
* [[Cancún:Restaurants]]
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* [[{{PAGENAME}}:Restaurants]]
* [[Cancún:Schools]]
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* [[{{PAGENAME}}:Schools]]
* [[Cancún:Sports]]
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* [[{{PAGENAME}}:Sports]]
* [[Cancún:Sustainability]]
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* [[{{PAGENAME}}:Sustainability]]
* [[Cancún:Tertiary education]]
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* [[{{PAGENAME}}:Tertiary education]]
* [[Cancún:Theaters]]
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* [[{{PAGENAME}}:Theaters]]
* [[Cancún:Transportation]]
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* [[{{PAGENAME}}:Transportation]]
   
 
==History==
 
==History==
Four decades ago, Cancun was a deserted island and few even knew of its existence. Located in a nearly forgotten region of the Caribbean, it consisted of a series of sand dunes in the shape of a number “7" –some parts of which were only 20 meters (66&nbsp;ft) wide– separated from the mainland by two narrow canals that opened out on to a huge lagoon system.
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Four decades ago, Cancun was a deserted island and few even knew of its existence. Located in a nearly forgotten region of the Caribbean, it consisted of a series of sand dunes in the shape of a number “7" –some parts of which were only 20 meters (66 ft) wide– separated from the mainland by two narrow canals that opened out on to a huge lagoon system.
   
 
The coast was comprised of marshes, mangroves, virgin jungle and unexplored beaches. Even its name was not clear: some maps called it “Kankun” (a single word written with the two “k’s”). At least one later map spelled it Cancu'en. Although the name is frequently translated as "nest of snakes," it actually refers to the snake totem known as Kukulcán or Quetzalcoatl. The etymology was recently discussed at considerable length on the [http://www.famsi.org/pipermail/aztlan/ FAMSI (Foundation for the Advancement of Meso-American Studies, Inc.)] listserv. Interpretations varied considerably, but the idea that the name means anything like nest of snakes was not supported by the scholars on the list.
 
The coast was comprised of marshes, mangroves, virgin jungle and unexplored beaches. Even its name was not clear: some maps called it “Kankun” (a single word written with the two “k’s”). At least one later map spelled it Cancu'en. Although the name is frequently translated as "nest of snakes," it actually refers to the snake totem known as Kukulcán or Quetzalcoatl. The etymology was recently discussed at considerable length on the [http://www.famsi.org/pipermail/aztlan/ FAMSI (Foundation for the Advancement of Meso-American Studies, Inc.)] listserv. Interpretations varied considerably, but the idea that the name means anything like nest of snakes was not supported by the scholars on the list.
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Since there was no long term tourism policy or financial resources to develop the sector, one of the Mexican government’s priorities was to promote existing tourism destinations (Acapulco, Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta, Ixtapa - Zihuatanejo and Cozumel), diversify tourism products and seek out other possibilities for development based on the avante garde idea of the time: building integral tourism-based cities from scratch. After evaluating dozens of potential locations, at the beginning of 1969, the Bank of Mexico began development of five integral tourism destinations: Ixtapa, Los Cabos, Loreto, Bahías de Huatulco and Cancun.
 
Since there was no long term tourism policy or financial resources to develop the sector, one of the Mexican government’s priorities was to promote existing tourism destinations (Acapulco, Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta, Ixtapa - Zihuatanejo and Cozumel), diversify tourism products and seek out other possibilities for development based on the avante garde idea of the time: building integral tourism-based cities from scratch. After evaluating dozens of potential locations, at the beginning of 1969, the Bank of Mexico began development of five integral tourism destinations: Ixtapa, Los Cabos, Loreto, Bahías de Huatulco and Cancun.
   
Despite certain disadvantages like distance from the region’s major cities (1,820 kilometers / 1,131 miles from Mexico City, 380 kilometers /236 miles from Chetumal, 321&nbsp;km / 199 miles from Merida and 172&nbsp;km / 107 miles from Valladolid); deficient highway infrastructure (the Chetumal-Puerto Juarez coastal highway was unfinished; airport located far away); lack of available, trained manpower; and non-existent local capital, there were important reasons to choose Cancun.
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Despite certain disadvantages like distance from the region’s major cities (1,820 kilometers / 1,131 miles from Mexico City, 380 kilometers /236 miles from Chetumal, 321 km / 199 miles from Merida and 172 km / 107 miles from Valladolid); deficient highway infrastructure (the Chetumal-Puerto Juarez coastal highway was unfinished; airport located far away); lack of available, trained manpower; and non-existent local capital, there were important reasons to choose Cancun.
   
 
Those that weighed heaviest (besides the natural beauty of the area and proximity to some of world’s most famous Mayan sites), was the need to successfully compete with tourism destinations in the Caribbean Basin (which at that time received around four million tourists per year); take advantage of the area’s magnificent beaches and foster development of recently-created Quintana Roo state.
 
Those that weighed heaviest (besides the natural beauty of the area and proximity to some of world’s most famous Mayan sites), was the need to successfully compete with tourism destinations in the Caribbean Basin (which at that time received around four million tourists per year); take advantage of the area’s magnificent beaches and foster development of recently-created Quintana Roo state.
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