WTTC Summit 2011: growing Mexican drug violence “no threat” to tourism

WTTC Summit 2011: growing Mexican drug violence “no threat” to tourism

Mexican President Felipe Calderon said that drug violence has yet to harm his country’s tourism, nor will it hinder his plans to continue growing the industry.

Speaking to delegates at the WTTC Global Travel & Tourism Summit, Calderon said there were “almost zero” incidents of tourists encountering crime related to drug cartels.

“Mexico is a safe place to visit,” he said.

“Yes we have problems… We are dealing with that, we are facing it,” he said. “But at the same time, we have everything.”

He noted that tourism arrivals rose 6 percent last year to 23 million, with 10 percent more Americans.

His words follow an escalation in drug related violence in Mexico. The U.S. State Department has warned Americans to stick to tourist areas,  avoiding areas where criminal activity might happen.

According to the WTTC, international visitors spent $15 billion in Mexico in 2010, up from $12.3 billion in 2009. Domestic travel spending was also up to $78.9 billion, from $68.2 billion in 2009.

The president also highlighted Mexico’s attractiveness for investment by foreign travel companies, with $4 billion in investments in Mexico during the first quarter this year.

Earlier this year he earmarked 2011 as the year of tourism in Mexico, which would start a campaign to raise international visits to the country even higher by 2020.

Calderon said that Mexico is the 10th most visited country in the world by international travellers, and he wants that to improve to 5th by the end of the decade.


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The WTTC Global Travel & Tourism Summit took place at the Aria Resort & Convention Centre, Las Vegas, 17-19 May 2011. To find out more visit www.globaltraveltourism.com