Magazine article SourceMex Economic News & Analysis on Mexico

Mexican Tourism Industry on the Rebound

Magazine article SourceMex Economic News & Analysis on Mexico

Mexican Tourism Industry on the Rebound

Article excerpt

The Mexican tourism industry has rebounded steadily despite several setbacks during the past several years. The industry first had to contend with a slump in visitors following the attacks on New York and Washington on Sept. 11, 2001 (see SourceMex, 2001-09-26). Mexican tourism was further hampered by a decline in the US economy and security concerns following the US invasion of Iraq in 2003 (see SourceMex, 2003-04-02). Reports of contaminated beaches and special travel alerts by the US State Department for the US-Mexico border region were also disincentives for visitors from the US and other countries to travel to Mexico (see 2003-02-19 and 2005-02-02).

The Secretaria de Turismo (SECTUR) said the Mexican tourism industry has recovered very nicely from these setbacks, and it expects a huge influx of foreign visitors in 2005. An estimated 23.5 million foreigners are expected to visit Mexico during 2005, with revenues of US$12 billion for the tourism industry. As of the end of July, revenues from foreign tourism stood at US$7.5 billion, said SECTUR.

The projections for 2005 are a stark contrast to 2001, when only 19.6 million foreign tourists visited Mexico, bringing revenues of US$8.35 billion (see SourceMex, 2002-04-07).

Recovery tied to aggressive efforts to diversify tourist base

The recovery in the tourism industry is attributed in large measure to Mexico's efforts to attract more tourists from Europe, Latin America, and Asia. "The number of European visitors is increasing by 20% annually," Tourism Secretary Rodolfo Elizondo told participants at a forum in Paris in late September.

Mexico is also making a strong effort to attract visitors from China, where an increasing percentage of the population has moved into the middle class. By some estimates, 16 million Chinese are traveling overseas each year, and that number is expected to continue to increase. …

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