At the end of February the Mexico Tourism Board announced that 2016 was a record breaking year for the Mexico tourism industry. A record smashing 35 million international travellers visited Mexico in 2016. These figures show a 9% growth on 2015 official numbers. The World Tourism Organisation released figures in January 2017 which show the global industry average growth to be 3.9%. As a result, Mexico tourism is currently growing at twice the global average. Moreover, tourism spending was reported to have 10.4% growth on previous years. Reasons for this fantastic level of growth in spending was put down to Mexico’s appeal to luxury travellers, the ease of multi-destination trips and the reputation Mexico that has garnered for its cuisine, nature and art.
Mexican Hospitality: ‘mi casa es tu casa’
Lourdes Berho, CEO of the Mexico Tourism Board, believes this monumental growth is due to the welcoming workers in the Mexican tourism industry. He says, “Mexico’s sustained, fast growth is a testament to the incredible quality and diversity in our tourism offering and the hard work for the entire industry, both internationally and domestically.” He goes on to congratulate the industry workers stating that, “More than 9 million Mexicans working in the tourism and hospitality industry have made it their mission to ensure visitors have incredible experiences.”
All this hard work has clearly paid off. The Mexico Tourism Board’s internal customer feedback studies have revealed that 94% of visitors felt that their trip to Mexico had ‘exceeded their expectations.’ A further 84% would ‘like to come back again’ within a six month period. This level of customer satisfaction may seem surprisingly high however the same sentiment is echoed throughout popular travel publications.
Mexico is ranked among some of the top countries throughout the travel industry. This includes for both short term travel and longer term relocation.
Both Puerto Vallarta and Playa Del Carmen ranked among the top 10 in Live and Invest Overseas annual report on the best places to retire in 2016.
Trip Advisor Travellers Choice Awards widely recognises Mexico as a travel destination. Playa Del Carmen placed in the list of Top 25 Destinations in the World. Playa Norte on Isla Mujeres won an award for one of the best beaches in the world. Finally, no less than 8 of the 25 best all-inclusive resorts were in Mexico.
Mexico is number one for being the friendliest and most welcoming country by a John Mason survey. It included expatriates from 191 different countries.
What’s Next for Mexico Tourism
Berho promises that they plan to build on this incredible growth in 2017. “Plans are already underway to ensure 2017 builds upon these achievements and that Mexico continues to welcome all visitors and give them reasons to come back again and again.”
The long-term goal for Mexico tourism is to reach 50 million international visitors by the year 2021. This may seem ambitious however the Mexico Tourism Board already has a solid strategy to reach this goal. The 2017 tourism development strategy is already underway. The strategy is focusing on demographics such as millennials, LGBTQ and retirees. Existing products are being expanded such as luxury, romance, nature and wildlife activities and culture.
The Benefits of Mexico Tourism for Investors
This growth can only spell good news for locals, tourists and long term investors alike.
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development released a report in January 2017 on tourism strategies in Mexico. The stable growth in the tourism industry seen over the past few years has had a positive effect on the Mexican economy. However the OECD believe there is still room for growth. Angela Gurría, Secretary-General of the OECD believes that, “There is huge potential to generate sustainable and inclusive growth in Mexico.” She goes on to say that, “Mexico has vast treasures inland from its coastal resorts where, with the right policies and infrastructure, tourism can create great opportunities for local communities to grow and prosper.”
Harnessing these opportunities within the Mexico tourism industry will result in a evermore stable yet prosperous economy.