MEXICO CITY -- Mexico is experiencing a tourism boom.
During the first seven months of this year, Mexico welcomed a
record 12 million visitors, a 4.3% rise from the previous year.
The tourists, business travelers and others visiting the country
spent approximately $5 billion during this period at hotels,
restaurants, stores, attractions, cultural institutions and
countless other locations.
Arrivals by air rose 10% to 4.7 million, and cruise passenger
arrivals rose 11% to 200,000.
The figures, compiled by Banco de Mexico, Mexico's central bank,
show that arrivals are on track to reach the 20 million visitor
mark projected for the end of this year, according to the Mexico
The tourism board's projections for this year represent a
doubling of visitors compared with 1999, when 10.2 million tourists
visited Mexico, the organization said.
The board is projecting that these visitors will spend $8
billion this year, up 12.2% compared to 1999.
Javier Vega, the tourism board's general director, pointed to
the numbers as further proof that the organization's promotional
efforts abroad are paying off.
"The Mexico Tourism Board is conducting comprehensive and
integrated efforts to promote travel to Mexico in cooperation with
travel industry partners," according to Vega.
"We expect these record-breaking numbers to continue," Vega
The main component of the board's tourism campaign is a national
cable television advertising push that's running on CNN, the
Discovery Channel and other networks with the tag line "Discover
the Many Moods of Mexico."
The $10 million campaign also includes four-color print ads in
major daily newspapers, travel trade journals and travel and
specialty magazines that are running concurrently with the TV
The campaign includes a Web site, at www.visitmexico.com; radio spots, and travel agent
seminars and familiarization trips.
Officials are hoping to secure an additional $5 million to
extend the campaign through March.