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Mexico now ranks 8th as favorite world destination

Riviera Maya, Q.R. — Mexico has officially increased a notch on the UN World Tourism scale as it takes over eighth place from Turkey.

According to figures from the UN World Tourism Organization, Mexico passed Turkey for tourism visits and is closing in on the United Kingdom with more than 38 million visitors last year.

Numbers show Mexico had an increase of several million visitors in 2016, while Turkey had a significant decrease, totaling only 28.3 million country visits last year. This takes Mexico from ninth place up to eighth place as the most visited country in the world.

Mexico has been on the rise for years as the country continues to move up in the ranks, even setting new records over the past few years. Given the sometimes stale Mexico-US relations, figures show that visitors to Mexico from the United States grows each year.

Despite negative politics, about half of the 447 high-volume travel agencies surveyed this spring say that business is up by at least 5 percent over the past year with repeat clients who have had great experiences visiting Mexico.

Their reports show that Riviera Maya is the clear leader in performing destinations with 84 percent followed by Cancun at 68 percent. Other favorite Mexico destinations include Los Cabos at 37 percent, Puerto Vallarta 35 percent, Riviera Nayarit with 19 percent of visitors.

Mazatlan, Merida and the Yucatan Peninsula all tied at 8 percent while Mexico City and Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo both came in at 6 percent. Colonial cities were mentioned by 4 percent of agents as being preferred destinations.

The United Kingdom, which holds seventh place, is currently only about 600,000 visitors ahead of Mexico.