Mexico Tourism Indicators Up for the First Half of 2008

By: Lisa Coleman

Mexico is a survivor. It seems as much as the U.S. wants to focus on the bad, people still seem to see the good. Despite the steady stream of negative press, the tourists still come, the hotels still thrive, and more and more, people are considering a permanent move south of the border. For those of us who love and understand this amazing country, it’s a constant struggle against the media. They drudge through the daily  public drug wars, the poverty, and mold a perception. Still Mexico pushes forward. They are fighting for their image, and for the life blood that is tourism.

It’s no secret things have been rough for Mexico in the last year. The media has made sure you heard it all. Well, I’ve got some good news to share…. people are still coming to Mexico. And the numbers prove the point.

In the first seven months of the year, Mexico received $8.475 million dollars in foreign currency, which signified a 6.3 percent increase compared to the same period in 2007.

• Almost 14 million tourists entered the country, an increase of 5.2 percent compared to the same period last year.
• As of July 2008, the country registered a total of 2.234 million workers in the tourism industry, which represents a 2.3 percent higher rate than the one registered in the same month in 2007.

During the first seven months of the year, there was an influx of $8.475 million dollars from the spending of foreign tourists, which signified a 6.3 percent increase compared to the same period in 2007, informed Rodolfo Elizondo Torres, Secretary of Tourism of Mexico (SECTUR).

According to the most recent data from the Bank of Mexico’s International Visitor Count, Secretary Elizondo said, in the January-July 2008 period, the country received 13.620 million tourists, a quantity that represented a 5.2 percent increase compared to the same period in 2007. 

Likewise, the head of SECTUR said that the average spending of tourists who traveled further than the border – those who have the longest stays and greater spending – was of $788 dollars per trip, which represents an increase of 3.8 percent from 2007.

Secretary Elizondo emphasized  the airline industry transported 26.5 million passengers between January and July 2008, 6.1 percent more than in 2007.

So there you have it… My sombrero is off to everyone involved with the tourism industry!