Mexico City – The number of international tourists to Mexico in the first quarter of 2018 rose to a record high of 10.6 million, a 12.6% increase year-on-year, according to a statement by Sectur, the country's tourism ministry.
"In the month of March alone, the number of international tourists received reached 4 million," the statement said. In the first quarter of 2017, a total of 9.4 million foreign tourists visited Mexico.
The country also saw $6.217 billion U.S. dollars in tourism revenue for the first quarter of 2018. However, the tourism ministry said that the average expenditure of international tourists decreased by 4.4% in the first quarter, from $558 USD to $533 dollars.
In 2017, the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) ranked Mexico the 6th most visited country in the world, surpassing nations such as Germany, Britain and Turkey. According to government statistics Mexico welcomed a total of 39.3 million visitors.
Since 2013, the country has gone from 15 to 6 in UNWTO's annual rankings, representing growth of more than 62%. The Mexico Tourism Board attributes the visitor increase to Mexico's investment in developing new and existing destinations, diversifying its tourism products, and its partnerships with airlines, hotels, and travel agencies.
During a tourism event in Mexico City earlier this month, Tourism Minister Enrique de la Madrid told a press conference that Mexico wants to attract more foreign tourists, especially those from China.
The typical Chinese visitor to Mexico, Sectur said, is from Beijing or Shanghai, between the ages of 25 and 45, visits Mexico City or Cancun, stays an average of seven nights and spends a little over 2,600 U.S. dollars. Over the past several years, Mexico's Ministry of Tourism has been promoting its other popular vacation destinations, including Los Cabos and Puerto Vallarta on the Pacific Coast.Sources: Santiago Times • Travel Weekly