That a record number of international tourists visited Mexico in the first quarter of 2018.
During the first three months of the year 10.6 million people visited the country which is 12.6% more than 9.4 million tourists visiting in the same period last year.
The amount of tourist spending rose by 7.2% in the first quarter which was over US $6.2 billion as compared to over US$5.8 billion during the same period in 2017.There was a drop in the average expenditure per tourist by 4.4% to US $533.40 compared to US $558 last year.
There were four million international visitors which was 14.6% more than the same month last year showing more spending than the last two months.In March the spent was US$2.36 billion which was 13.8 % more than US $2.07 billion spent in March 2017.
The average spending saw a meager increase by US $0.20 or 0.04% to US $539.60.
The upsurge in violent crime could not create an impact on the visitor numbers and the tourism secretary Enrique de la Madrid mentioned that Mexico is now the sixth most visited country in the world.
The international tourism is growing at 12% annually as compared to 7% in the rest of the world while the tourism sector generates 8.8% of gross domestic product (GDP).
In 2017 more than 39 million international visitors came to Mexico and if the number of visitors recorded during the first quarter is maintained it is expected to break the 40-million barrier for the first time.
The secretary further mentioned that the international tourists visiting Mexico might reach 50 million by 2021. This may make the country the world’s fifth most visited.Overcoming the diversification of the tourism sector is another challenge that the government will have to face even though there is strong growth.
By Latifa Zenaina