Mexico steps up the ladder thanks to its open border policy
By the end of the first half of 2022, Mexico continues to be one of the most visited countries in the world, with a second place in the world ranking, according to figures from the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).
Although the country was hard hit during the Covid-19 pandemic, its open border policy gave it a head start and a faster recovery in tourism than other nations. This risky measure, for which the federal government was even heavily criticized, ultimately placed us among the top destinations for tourists in 2021.
Fortunately, the trend is positive in 2022. This week, the Federal Ministry of Tourism announced, based on data from the Bank of Mexico (Banxico), that international tourist arrivals continue to increase. The agency indicated that, from January to May 2022, 14 million 629 thousand foreign tourists entered the country, of which 8.6 million arrived by air; the latter number is 98.9 percent more compared to the same period in 2021. As for the economic revenue that these travelers have left in the country, it stands at 11,415 million dollars, an increase of 95 percent.
This is undoubtedly good news, however, I must warn that beyond the honorable second place in tourism worldwide and the increasingly higher figures in visitor arrivals, tourism in Mexico is still far from reaching the levels of 2019, when the country captured about 25 billion US dollars and made up 10.4% of GDP, providing more than 4 million jobs.
Currently, the federal government’s international promotion work is based on the ” Door-knocking Operation” program that Miguel Torruco announced in 2018 -after the disappearance of the Consejo de Promoción Turística de México (Mexico Tourism Promotion Board)- a program focused on business with the main outbound tour-operators, which promotes linkages with airlines and inbound tour operators, as well as participation in international fairs.
Reflecting on the above, I can’t help but wonder: What will happen when all the destinations in the world open their borders and we have to compete with real tourist giants, are we prepared for that?
What do you think?