Beginning January 2015, Mexico’s top Caribbean tourist cities including Cancun and Playa del Carmen, will implement a new time zone that will add one hour of daylight to winter months and two hours of daylight to summer months.
In early December, Mexico’s lower chamber in the House of Deputies, the Cámara de Diputados, amended the Schedule System Act and agreed to a new national time zone created specifically for the state of Quintana Roo. The new Caribbean time zone, the Southeastern Time Zone (STZ), will be the third for the state.
The idea behind creating the new time zone was to advance residents and tourists of Quintana Roo an additional hour of daylight during the winter months and two additional hours of daylight during the summer. The state of Quintana Roo is home to the most sought-after tourist destinations along the Yucatan including Cancun, Isla Mujeres, Puerto Morelos, Playa del Carmen and Tulum, among other destinations.
According to El Universal, “The significance of the new rule was based on a series of natural and attractive resources that naturally distinguish (the state).”
The House recommended the additional time, which was designed to promote tourism, by extending daylight to allow for longer enjoyment of outdoor activities. This new time zone, which affects only Quintana Roo, will see the state join the US Eastern Time, a zone that House Deputies felt would prove favorable to both American and Canadian travelers.
Additional time zone advantages include improved airline connectivity with major routes across the US and Canada as well as in various parts of the Caribbean, Central and South America.
The bill for the new time zone has already been passed by the Senate and is due to cross the President’s desk early in the New Year. STZ (southern time zone) will be effective as soon as it is published in the Federal Register where the compilation of Congress-approved and chief executive-signed laws are kept.
As of now, Quintana Roo’s next time zone change is set for Sunday, April 5, 2015 when clocks will turn forward one hour.