MEXICO CITY -- Mexico City attracted 8.9 million foreign visitors
in 1999, a 12.7% increase compared to 1998, the city's tourism
Combined with the estimated 6 million Mexicans who traveled to
the city to visit friends and family, the city was host to
approximately 15 million total visitors, making Mexico City the
country's most popular travel destination, the tourism authority
According to the authority, most international visitors came
from the U.S. and Canada, representing 52.38% of foreign
most notably from France, Germany, Spain and the U.K, accounted for
about 26% of visitors.
"Behind these positive numbers is the fact that Mexico City is
living a great process of renovation and renewal," said Arroyo
Legaspi, the authority's president.
He cited a drop in crime and an improvement in the city's air
quality among the reasons for the renewed interest in the capital
Legaspi said that new investment in hotel facilities and
attractions were a "sign of confidence and commitment to Mexico
City as a tourist destination."
He pointed to the following hotel developments:Sheraton Hotels is investing $54 million in the construction of
a hotel and convention center in the Alameda Park area.Inter-Continental Hotels is investing $40 million in the
construction of an all-suite tower adjacent to the Presidente
Intercontinental Hotel in the Polanco district.Marriott's new Mexico City Renaissance Hotel, with a view of
Chapultepec Park and Chapultepec Castle, is scheduled to open by
the end of the year.The Melia Reforma Hotel is in the midst of a $5 million
renovation that will add a spa.
In addition, Mexico City is planning a $300 million renovation
of the colonial monuments, buildings and plazas in the city's
Also, the National Museum of Anthropology is undergoing a $13