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Despite All the Negatives Going On, Mexico's Air Travel,
Hotel Infrastructure and Cruise Travel Are Booming

Mexico’s Tourism Sector Sees Tremendous Growth 

MEXICO CITY - August 26, 2010 - The number of international tourists reaching Mexico by air experienced a 35.2 percent increase in June 2010 compared with the same month last year marking an impressive first half of the year for the Mexico tourism industry.

“We feel these numbers are evidence of the strength and quality of Mexico’s destinations”

During the same period, 818,278 tourists from different nationalities visited Mexico, versus 605,435 who visited in June 2009. Of those, some 573,016 travelers arrived by air from the United States, representing a 23.7 percent growth over June 2009. Even more impressive are the 41,184 tourists that arrived from Canada; 21,322 more than in June 2009 – a whopping increase of 107.4 percent.

“We feel these numbers are evidence of the strength and quality of Mexico’s destinations,” said Mexico Secretary of Tourism Gloria Guevara. “Despite all that’s going on in the world today, the traveler knows he or she can come to Mexico and find unique vacation experiences offering not only our famous sun and beach destinations, but the chance for archeological, culinary and artistic experiences as well. Mexico is the only place on the earth where you can experience all that in a single trip.”

Increased Flights

This increased demand for Mexico by American travelers has been reflected in a handful of important new flights to Mexico. AeroMexico, Mexico’s largest transcontinental airline, announced the beginning of its new Monterrey-Miami service effective on June 28, and its new Monterrey-Houston route, which became effective on July 5.

The airline also included summer service between high-demand routes, such as Mexico City to Miami, New York, Orlando and San Antonio; Merida to Miami; Monterrey to San Antonio; Los Angeles to Aguascalientes and Bajio; Chicago to Durango and Guadalajara. 

In November 2010, British Airways is slated to begin operating the only direct flight between London and Cancun, for which it has already begun selling tickets. Meanwhile, China’s Hainan Airlines will begin flying directly to Mexico City. 

Other airlines such as US Airways and Frontier Airlines have also created new routes to Mexico, such as US Airways’ Charlotte to Los Cabos and Charlotte to Puerto Vallarta; and Frontier’s San Francisco to Los Cabos; San Francisco to Cancun; and Los Angeles to Cancun. Meanwhile, Virgin America has announced their intent to launch new non-stop services from San Francisco to Los Cabos and Cancun, as well as from Los Angeles to Cancun.

More Hotel Rooms

Secretary of Tourism Gloria Gueva Manzo recently announced that hotels in Mexico have experienced substantial growth throughout the country. The number of available hotel rooms in Mexico has increased 4.6 percent during the first half of this year compared to the same period in 2009. According to the Datatur System, this growth was recorded in 56 of the 70 destinations that are monitored by this department.

Of those 70 destinations analyzed by Datatur, room availability jumped from 310,391 to 323,916, registering an increase of 13,525 rooms now available for foreign visitors. In these 70 destinations, the number of hotel rooms occupied during the first six months of 2010 was 11.3 percent higher than in the same period of 2009.

This increase in hotel rooms is widespread across Mexico. For example, from January – June 2010, Morelia saw a growth of 19.3 percent in hotel room availability and a 30.2 percent increase in hotel room occupancy compared to January – June of last year. Likewise, Huatulco saw a 9.6 percent growth in hotel room availability and 15.4 percent growth in hotel room occupancy, while Merida experienced a 5.9 percent growth in availability and 6.6 percent growth in occupancy during these same months.

Cruise Ship Passengers on the Rise

Cruise travel is also booming, witnessing the number of American cruise passengers in the first four months of 2010 increase 6 percent compared to 2009. The rise in Canadian cruise passengers was a healthy 9 percent compared to the same time last year. Today, Mexico has a repetition rate of 95 percent among cruise passengers arriving in Mexico.

Last year, Mexican ports received 5 million cruise passengers. This year, the ports expect to receive nearly 6 million. In fact, some carriers want to increase their presence in order to accommodate the larger demand of cruises into Mexico. In 2009, cruise tourism alone generated an economic spillover into Mexico of 500 million dollars, despite the economic crisis and influenza.

About the Mexico Tourism Board
The Mexico Tourism Board (MTB) brings together the resources of federal and state governments, municipalities and private companies to promote Mexico's tourism attractions and destinations internationally. Created in 1999, the MTB functions as an executive agency of Mexico’s Tourism Secretariat, with autonomous management and the broad participation of the private sector. The MTB has offices throughout North America, Europe, Asia and Latin America.


Mexico Tourism Board 

Veronica Catalan, 1-866-666-6010

Also See: Foreign Investment in the Mexican Hospitality Industry; An Interview with the Mexican Minister for Tourism / February 2005
Mexico Hit Hard in Terms of Tourism Demand Over the Past Three Months But a Sharp Rebound in Tourism Activity Likely Over the Next Two Years / August 2009

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