Cancun, Q.R. — By the end of the year, the tourism sector for Mexico is expected to reach a new record, reports head of the Secretariat of Tourism, Enrique de la Madrid Cordero.
De la Madrid Cordero says that despite insecurity issues, the country is expected to have more than 37.5 million visitors by the end of 2017, an increase from the 35 million in 2016.
He explained that the figures reported from the end of the first half of the year allow us to anticipate good results for the sector. “In the tourism sector, last year we had 35 million and in the first quarter are showing about 10 percent growth, which is being conservative. I think we should be finishing up the end of the year with 37.5 million visitors from abroad, which will be a new record,” he said.
He noted that “the tourism figures are real, they are accurate” after the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI) made a change in its numbers, since the data was corroborated with figures from the Bank of Mexico and information of the United States.
The federal official said that last year, there was a record number of 35 million visitors to the country. In the first half of this year, there have already been 19.2 million international tourists, which represents an increase of 12 percent at annual rate.
In the first half of the year, the number of tourists arriving by plane increased by 11 percent, almost double the growth of international tourism in other parts of the world, with revenues of $11.14 billion for Mexico.
De la Madrid Cordero noted that Mexico is the eighth most visited country in the world, with 35 million tourists, but “with very good chances of increasing one more place, if not this year, the next,” as Mexico competes with both Germany and Britain who are also close to claiming seventh place.
He acknowledged that the insecurity felt around the country “Is something that concerns us. We know that in some places the rates of insecurity have increased, we can not deny it, it is a matter of concern and should serve as an incentive to work better.”
He stressed that there is a need for progress on the rule of law as well as for coordination between the three levels of government with crime prevention programs and greater participation of civil society emphasizing that the livelihood of more than 10 million Mexicans depends on the tourism industry.