Mexico welcomed a record-breaking 39.3 million visitors in 2017, a 78.7 per cent increase in international visitation to the country since 2012.
The United Nations World Tourism Organisation declared this year that Mexico is now the world’s sixth most visited country, a leap from being number 15 in the organisation’s ranking in 2012.
The Mexico Tourism Board hails this achievement as the result of a multi-faceted effort to promote Mexico on the world stage.
Today, Mexico’s tourism industry accounts for 8.7 per cent of the country’s GDP with $21.3 billion in visitor spend, and is the source of ten million jobs.
“Our goal at the start of this administration was to create programs that ensure that Mexico thrives as a tourism powerhouse,” said Enrique de la Madrid Cordero, Mexico secretary of tourism.
“We credit our success in accelerating the growth of our tourism industry with the following critical factors: increased air connectivity, the development of new tourism products, fostering high-potential markets, and bringing large-scale events to Mexico.
“A robust tourism industry creates opportunities for more people to learn, work and grow right here in Mexico, which proves what we have always known to be true – when tourism grows, Mexico grows.”
Increasing air connectivity to priority markets was a critical component of the tourism growth strategy, as Mexico focused on strengthening its airport network, expanding several terminals with state-of-the-art technology.
National routes have grown 41 per cent and international routes have grown by 28 per cent.
Among new international routes are the Helsinki – Puerto Vallarta flight from Finnair and the Tokyo – Mexico City non-stop flight from All Nippon Airways; both routes opened last year.
Air connectivity continued to be a priority this year, with 1.5 million seats added to direct flights to Mexico.
Mexico’s strong commitment to increasing air connectivity to match consumer demand has led to investments in developing close partnerships with airlines, hotels, and the tourism industry.
As a result, since 2012 Mexico saw an increase of 33 per cent in visitor arrivals from Europe, a 96 per cent increase in visitor arrivals from South America, and a 127 per cent increase in visitor arrivals from Asia.