Mexico has surpassed Turkey to become the world’s eighth most popular tourist destination, according to the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).
Mexico moved up from ninth place in the organization’s World Tourism Barometer after it received 35 million visitors last year, compared to Turkey’s 28.3 million, a number resulting from the country’s political and security crises last year negatively impacted its tourist industry while Mexico enjoyed a 9% increase in the number of foreign visitors propelling the country into eighth place.
Last year’s visitor numbers positioned Mexico very close to seventh-place United Kingdom, which received 600,000 more visitors than Mexico. The tourism revenues were also up last year, rising to US $19.6 billion, which shifted its ranking from 16th to 14th.
The federal government has stated it expects Mexico to enter the top five soon, given that foreign visitor numbers are up 50% since 2012.
Also, the federal Tourism Secretariat has mentioned that it has worked toward providing travellers with activities and attractions that encourage them to extend their stay and, in consequence, generate more revenue for the industry. It has expressed confidence that those revenues will overtake remittances from Mexicans working abroad in about three years’ time.
The best performing markets were the Riviera Maya, Cancún, Los Cabos, Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit.