More than 52 million tourists will visit Mexico this year, forecasted the Mexican Ministry of Tourism.

Predictions followed a solid holiday season and strong winter occupancy thus far, particularly in the resort areas.

The number of air arrivals in December was was up 13% over December 2010.

A total of 1.07 million international travelers visited Mexico last month, with U.S. visitors up 10.6% over the same month a year ago.

Year-end figures for 2011 are not yet tallied.

“We envisage that 2012 will be a record-breaking year for Mexico in terms of tourism numbers,” said Rodolfo Lopez-Negrete, COO of the Mexico Tourism Board.

“The board will continue to market directly to non-traditional markets in Europe and Asia as well as the U.S. and Canada,” he said.

A key focus this year will be an awareness campaign targeting travel to the five states that comprise the ancient world of the Maya: Quintana Roo, Campeche, Tabasco, Chiapas and Yucatan.

Follow Gay Nagle Myers on Twitter @gnmtraveleekly.

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