Mexico City expects return to form in 2010

Mexico City expects return to form in 2010

Mexico City is expecting tourist arrival numbers to rise by a third next year on the back of free public viewing of 2010 World Cup games, a new law allowing same-sex marriages, as well as the recovery from the swine flu pandemic.

Mexico City Tourism Minister Alejandro Rojas said that of the number of arrival is expected to rise from 10.4 million to 14 million.

He estimates that the economic benefit to the city from tourism this year was 43.5 billion pesos ($3.3 billion).

Tourism was badly hit this year by the recession in Mexico and the U.S., and by the swine flu outbreak in April and May, when authorities shut down public entertainment venues and restricted restaurant activity.

Government figures for the first 10 months of 2009 for all of Mexico showed the number of international tourist arrivals, excluding border crossings, down 13% from the same period of 2008 at 9.4 million. Nationwide revenue from foreign tourism was down 17% year-on-year at $9.2 billion.

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The Mexican capital is among seven cities outside South Africa chosen for the Fifa Fan Fest, in which all of the 2010 World Cup soccer matches will be shown for free on giant screens in the main.