Tourism Going Strong in Mexico

By MP Mexico News Staff

• Monarch Butterfly Biosphere and San Miguel de Allende, two new attractions in Mexico
• Archaeological sites, traditions, gastronomy and the friendly people are top reasons Americans travel to Mexico
• US tourist flow increases to 3 million during the first 4 months of 2008
• More than 40% of Americans travel to Mexico for cultural tourism

Mexico DF, July 14, 2008– The trend that indicates the growth of American tourists to Mexico was steady during the first four months of 2008, while executives at the Mexico Tourism Board (MTB) assured that this growth will increase during the summer months, especially because of the dollar’s weakness against the Euro and an integral offer which highlights culture.

According to the most recent statistics from the Integrated System for Immigration Operations (SIOM), a total of 3,073,895 American tourists visited their southern neighbor during the first four months of the present year, compared to the 2,992,472 that did so during the same period in 2007.

According to Oscar Fitch, CEO of the MTB, this trend will continue throughout 2008, because a great number of Americans are choosing Mexico over European vacations due in partly because of its affordability due to the skyrocketing value of the American dollar to the Euro.

“More American tourists are discovering that they can get more for less in Mexico. I am sure this trend will continue throughout all of 2008, not only because of the economical advantages, but also because of the quality and variety of our offerings, specifically our magnificent culture.” said Fitch.

According to studies released by the Secretary of Tourism, more than 40 percent of the tourists that travel to Mexico, take part in cultural activities as part of their trip attracted by one of the most rich and diverse offers in the world that includes archeological sites, traditions, people and food.

This interest had a new push last Monday, July 7, when UNESCO named the city of San Miguel de Allende and the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve, World Heritage Sites, increasing the number of places and festivities that have been designated as such to 29.

San Miguel de Allende unites itself to other nine cities that have received the distinction: Campeche, Mexico City, Guanajuato, Morelia, Oaxaca, Puebla, Queretaro, Tlacotalpan and Zacatecas; meanwhile the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve was added to a list that includes Sian Ka’an, the Whale Sanctuary at El Vizcaino, and the Islands and Protected Areas of the Gulf of California.

Other wonderful archaeological centers include Calakmul, Chichen Itza, El Tajin, Paquime, Palenque, Teotihuacan, Uxmal and Xochicalco; sites such as Rock Paintings of the Sierra de San Francisco, Monasteries of the 16th Century on the Slopes of Popocatepetl, the Hospicio Cabanas in Guadalajara, the Franciscan Missions in the Sierra Gorda in Queretaro, the House and Studio of Mexican architect Luis Barragan in Mexico City, the Agave Landscape and Ancient Industrial Installations in the town of Tequila, and the Central University City Campus of the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM); as well as the Indigenous Festivities of Day of the Dead.

Adding to these unforgettable places and festivities is a diverse offering for the aroma and taste where, along succulent traditional delicacies such as the Mole and the Chiles en Nogada, a new gastronomy has surged which includes delicacies such as Fish Tacos, Stuffed Chiles with Lobster and Seafood, Cactus and Scallops Salad, Salmon Fillet in Tomato Salsa, Honey and Sesame, and the Tuna Carpaccio of the Coast. This gastronomical offering satisfies any taste.

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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 is Mexico’s tourism promotion agency, and its participants include members of both the private and public sectors. The MTB has offices throughout North America, Europe, Asia and Latin America.