Foreign tourists up four per cent in 2010

Mexico toasts booking fiesta

Negative stories about drug wars have not prevented a boom in sales, says minister.

by Paul Needham, March 14, 2011
<b>Outstanding heritage:</b> Mexico is celebrating its Mayan and colonial past at ITB this year.

Mexico is back on the tourism map in a big way in spite of negative publicity about drugs wars and safety fears. The country had a boom year in 2010 and is looking forward to another wave of visitors this year.
“All our source markets grew apart from Cuba,” said tourism minister Gloria Guevara Manzo. The total number of foreign tourists visiting Mexico rose 4.4 per cent to 22 million last year.

The land of mariachis and Mayans generated strong growth both from Europe and South America. The number of Russians flying to Mexico on holiday doubled last year, while Spain and Argentina both grew more than 30 per cent.
Germany, the seventh-largest source market for Mexico, also did well. The number of Germans visiting the country rose
16 per cent to 163,000. “And 97 per cent of them return,” said the minister.
Guevara Manzo denied that the highly publicised “drug wars” on the US border and in Mexico City are having any effect on travel to Mexico. “They do not impact tourism,” she said. She added that the distance from the US border to the main tourist regions is enormous. “When something bad happens in Madrid, that does not stop people from travelling to Moscow,” she said, trying to make clear to Europeans just how big the country is.

Mexico is spending more to cash in on its success and has declared 2011 as its Year of Tourism. The marketing budget has been increased by 17 per cent to $700 million. The country will continue to promote its traditional destinations, such as the Riviera Maya, as well as its colonial heritage and cultural attractions. New tourist routes have been created for the central Mexican colonial cities.
In all, Mexico has invested about $1 billion in its tourism infrastructure over the last four years.

Form more news from ITB 2011 please klick here.

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