Mexico Increases Tourism’s Economic Spillover by 80 PercentBy Paloma Duran | Fri, 08/12/2022 - 14:34
The Ministry of Tourism (SECTOR) announced that this year, international tourists spent large amounts of money in Mexico, exceeding pre-pandemic levels. However, the country continues to grapple with inflation, insecurity and COVID-19 contagions that could prevent it from attracting the optimal number of tourists in 2022.
SECTUR reported that tourists in Mexico left a spent a record amount of MX$13.390 billion (US$670.56 million) in 1H22, 80.1 percent higher than the figure obtained in 2021 and 9.3 percent higher than that of 2019. The ministry highlighted that even though there were around 18 million tourists in 1H22, this figure is 18.4 percent lower than the 22 million tourists in 2019.
According to data from the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI), the average expenditure of tourists was US$724.7 dollars for every stay in 1H22, 39.1 percent higher than 1H21 and 34 percent higher than 1H19. SECTUR announced that foreign exchange income from tourism is expected to exceed US$26 billion in 2022, which would represent 8.4 percent of the national GDP.
Furthermore, SECTUR expects 40 million tourists to arrive in Mexico in 2022. So far, the main annual upturn occurred in June when tourists arriving by air increased 28.5 percent, up to 1.88 million people.
Although the authorities are optimistic about tourism, they agree that the increasing violence and new waves of COVID-19 continue to be the biggest challenges to attract more tourists. In addition, the travel industry is expected to be hit by inflation, which has reached its highest levels in decades. Restaurants and hotels have been affected the most with an annual rise of 10.25 percent.
“The caution on the part of consumers in the expectation of an adverse macroeconomic environment could slow down the recovery of the sector. Likewise, the problems of public insecurity may present another important damper for international tourism,” said Gabriela Siller, Director of Economic Analysis, Banco Base.
In 2019, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Mexico ranked among the 10 most visited countries in the world, with more than 45 million tourists. These tourists spent a total of US$24.563 billion. In 2019, tourism added 8.6 percent to the GDP. In 2021, this figure stood at 7.1 percent.