Tourism fund expects greater investment in infrastructure projects

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Mexico is turning to tourism as it aims to minimize the impact of the worldwide financial crisis. Mexico's National Tourism Development Fund, or Fonatur, said it expected to generate more than $880 million of public and private investment for tourism projects this year.

The investment is about equal to what the government and the private investors spent during the previous two years on tourism projects.

According to Fonatur, as credit has dried up in recent months, some developers have decided to either cancel or postpone their planned investments in Mexico, although some of those canceled projects have been replaced by new ones.

Fonatur said it is optimistic that Mexico will continue to attract international visitors despite the worldwide recession.

Fonatur pointed to Cancun, which reported an occupancy rate of more than 90% during the recent holiday season and is projected to have 85% occupancy this winter.

The Mexican government last fall announced that it would invest more than $500 million to create a major resort in the Pacific coast state of Sinaloa that would have twice the land area of Cancun.

The resort, which would be financed through Fonatur, would attract another $7 billion in private investment.

Fonatur said the Pacific coast development would generate close to $3 billion in revenue by 2025.

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