MEXICO CITY -- Sectur, Mexico's Ministry of Tourism, released
details of the Mexico Visitor Entry Fee to be implemented July 1.
The fee will be 150 Mexican pesos, approximately U.S. $15 and
Canadian $20 under current conversion rates.
Anyone traveling to Mexico by air, land or sea will be required
to pay the fee, with two exceptions: ground travelers who do not
venture beyond Mexico's interior checkpoints (approximately 16
miles across the borders) and cruise passengers visiting for less
than three days.
Additionally, anyone bound for another country who has a
connecting flight in a Mexico airport will not have to pay the
Air travelers will pay the fee when they purchase tickets.
The fee for cruise passengers will be built into the cost of the
cruise package or collected when disembarking at Mexican ports.
Land travelers will pay the fee at Mexican checkpoints or they
can choose to pay at banks in Mexico.
The Mexico Visitor Entry Fee was passed by the Mexico Congress
last year for the fiscal 1999 budget. Revenues generated by the fee
will be used by both Sectur, for international tourism promotion,
and by the National Immigration Institute to modernize the system
by which visitors are processed and to facilitate the entry of
visitors with improved facilities and services to enhance national
Sectur said it hopes revenue generated by the fee will help
restore its promotional budgets, which have taken heavy hits since
the devaluation of the peso in 1995.
The fee is expected to generate roughly $120 million annually,
enabling Sectur to triple its current international promotional
According to Sectur, the fee is modest in light of the value
inherent in a Mexico visit due to the weak peso against U.S. and
Sectur also pointed to the fact that similar visitor fees are
charged by other countries in the form of entry fees or tourist
visa fees, and Mexico does not require a visa for U.S. or Canadian
Sectur does not expect the fee have a negative impact on visitor
arrivals or the country's position in the international tourism
arena. In 1998, Mexico received roughly 19.3 million visitors, and
an increase of 4% is projected for 1999. (Roughly 88% of Mexico's
visitors are from the U.S.)
According to preliminary figures released by the World Tourism
Organization, Mexico also jumped from the eighth to the seventh
most visited destination in the world last year.
The Mexico Visitor Entry Fee marks the second one Mexico has
imposed on travelers to enter the country. A similar fee was
imposed in the 1960s but subsequently was repealed to stimulate
tourism in the 1970s. The tourism sector has since become Mexico's
second- largest industry.