Article in the Los Angeles Times says that based on rising tourism numbers in the first half of the year, Mexican tourism officials predict the country will host 24.7 million foreign visitors in 2012, surpassing last year's record of 23.4 million.
In the first half of the year, Mexico saw a 77% increase in Russian visitors, a 61% jump in tourists from Brazil, and a 38% bump in visitors from Venezuela, according to Sectur (Mexico's tourism officials.) Meanwhile, the number of travelers from the United States dropped 1%.
Sectur attributes the uptick in foreign tourists to several changes made since 2010 by the Mexican government to reduce its dependency on US tourists. Among those was allowing foreign visitors to enter the country with a United States visa in lieu of a Mexican visa. In addition, Mexico created an online process to review visa applications within 24 hours for travelers from Brazil, Ukraine, China, and Russia and waived the need for a visa from Peruvians, Chileans, and Colombians.
The country has not given up on the US, which still represents 70% of all tourists traveling by air to Mexico. But Mexico's federal government realized the country was too dependent on the United States for tourism spending.
Interesting news. I wonder if public perception has something to do with it. I don't imagine the drug killings are quite as much in the news in Russia as they are in the US. Or maybe they just don't worry about it as much
It would be interesting to see a demographic as to where most of those 70% of US tourists visit. My hunch is places such as Cozumel, Cancun, Acapulco, Puerto Vallarta, Manzanillo - basically popular beach areas. Second would be near any of the ruins.
With the way Russia works, they have the Russian Mafia and other assorted cartels so Russian tourists probably don't consider Mexico a big threat to their well being. Just a thought...
I have the same thoughts as Peter, and I certainly do think that we here in the States avoid Mexico just for that reason. I would not personally set foot south of the border right now.
Many of the flights from Europe now go to only 2 destinations in Mexico - Cancun and Mexico City. It is a fact, however, that Americans are far more timid travelers than Europeans.
When you consider that the Russians are used to traveling on what many Westerners consider to be the world's worst airlines, I agree with Isadora - "ain't no biggie to duck the random shooting in Monterey" - maybe they come prepared with flak jackets?
We see the same here in Vancouver BC- a city clogged with tourists.
US visitors are way down but have been replaced by people from OZ, New Zealand, Asia & the UK.
When I was in San Diego last month, a local friend was saying that the quick border hops for students (guessing < 21's looking to get alcohol) are way down. Of course this wouldn't show up in the stats as much as those look to be based on air traffic only?
Isn't it just a fact that tourism from the BRIC countries is growing faster because it basically came down from very low numbers in the first place? From 1 to 2 is 100% extra growth you know