Mexico’s International Tourism Revenues Reach Historic High

Despite slight dip in international tourism arrivals, international tourism revenues reach historic high, pointing to full recovery of the industry after Hurricane Wilma.

Chicago, IL, March 06, 2007 --( Despite Hurricane Wilma’s lingering effect on room supply in the Mexican Caribbean in early 2006, Mexico closed the year with historically high international tourism revenues, pointing to a full recovery of the industry.

According to statistics recently released by Mexico’s Tourism Secretariat (Sectur), Mexico received 21.35 million international visitors in 2006, a 2.6 percent dip in comparison with 2005, due in part to reduced room availability in the Mexican Caribbean stemming from damages sustained by several hotels during Hurricane Wilma in late 2005. Despite this, from April to December 2006, international tourism arrivals for 2006 were above figures posted the year before in all but two months.

Thanks to more aggressive marketing to the affluent traveler in particular, however, revenue generated by these tourists reached a record high of US$12.18 billion, 3.2 percent higher than 2005’s revenue of US$11.80 billion. In 2004, Mexico’s international tourism revenues had totaled US$10.84 billion.

International visitors (excluding border tourists) to Mexico were reported to have spent an average of US$710.30 per person per visit in 2006, representing a 4.7 percent increase from 2005’s US$678.40 average spend.

Historically high international tourism revenues helped enable the tourism industry’s trade balance to post an impressive US$4.07 billion surplus in 2006.

Cruise ship passenger arrivals in 2006 posted strong numbers as well, with 6.52 million cruise passengers disembarking in Mexican ports, down only 2.8 percent from 2005 despite damage sustained from Hurricane Wilma to such leading cruise ports as Cozumel. These passengers spent 458.3 million dollars in Mexico, compared with 452.6 million the previous year.

Some 1.95 million people were employed in the tourism sector by the end of 2006, a significant increase from the 1.83 million people employed by the end of 2005.

“The figures posted in 2006 demonstrate that within a year of a devastating hurricane, Mexico’s tourism industry was already back to normal,” said Mexico Tourism Secretary Rodolfo Elizondo. “This attests to a level of government commitment and degree of coordination with private sector partners rarely seen in areas elsewhere in the world affected by similar tragedies. We expect 2007 to be yet another successful year for our tourism industry, with increased growth across all segments, particularly among upscale travelers,” he added.

About the Mexico Tourism Board
The Mexico Tourism Board (MTB) brings together the resources of federal and state governments, municipalities and private companies to promote Mexico's tourism attractions and destinations internationally. Created in 1999, the MTB is Mexico’s tourism promotion agency, and its participants include members of both the private and public sectors. The MTB has offices throughout North America, Europe, Asia and Latin America.

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Erick Laseca
Mexico Tourism Board
312-228-0517 ext14
Mexico Tourism Board
Erick Laseca
312-228-0517 x14