On the night of January 31, 2015 the clocks will be put forward one hour in Cancun, Riviera Maya, Cozumel and elsewhere in the state of Quintana Roo, bringing the Mexican Caribbean into the same time zone as cities along the eastern seaboard of the United States, Eastern Standard Time. This means that visitors and residents will enjoy an extra hour of daylight.
The new time zone approved by the Mexican Congress is called Hora Sureste and it has been implemented to boost the Mexican Caribbean tourism industry. Not only will visitors enjoy one more hour of sunlight in the afternoon, the measure is expected to increase productivity and earnings. It will improve flight connectivity with many cities in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and South America. Importantly, it will also generate energy savings, thus helping to protect the environment.
According to information published by the Quintana Roo State Government, clocks will be only be adjusted once in the Mexican Caribbean; they will not be moved again during the year to reflect Daylight Saving Time.
The new time zone only applies to Quintana Roo; it has not been implemented by the states of Yucatan or Campeche, both of which remain on Central Standard Time (CST), one hour behind Cancun and Playa del Carmen. Visitors should bear this in mind when traveling to Chichen Itza, Valladolid, Merida or any other destinations in the Yucatan and if they are planning to attend events in the neighboring states such as concerts or theater performances. Quintana Roo will also be one hour ahead of Mexico City.
Hora Sureste is the fourth time zone in Mexico; the other three are Northwest, Pacific and Central.