Mexico City, Jan 11 (efe-epa).- Mexico hosted 45.6 percent fewer international tourists last November than during the same month in 2019, with arrivals dropping from 3.84 million to some 2.09 million due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The National Institute of Statistics and Geography (Inegi) reported Monday that the main component of the fall-off – accounting for 55 percent of the decline – was among tourists arriving by air, with the November 2019 figure being 1.6 million but the 2020 figure for that month being 726,258.
The number of tourists entering the country across its land borders declined by 40.1 percent in November to 1.1 million.
The decline can be accounted for by the Covid-19 pandemic, with about 1.53 million confirmed cases having been reported in Mexico, along with more than 133,000 deaths.
Although the decline in tourism continues to be quite accentuated, the October and November figures were significant improvements compared to the year-on-year drop of 66.6 percent in international tourist arrivals in July and 62.2 percent in August, a situation that can be interpreted as a gradual reactivation in the market.
On June 1, Mexico launched its so-called “new normal” with an phased and very cautious economic and social reopening after two months of a health emergency that paralyzed virtually all non-essential activities.
Because of that, Mexico in November saw a 54.8 percent decline in its foreign currency earnings produced from tourism with respect to the same month in 2019.
International travelers spent $856.6 million in Mexico in the 11th month of 2020, while in November 2019 they had spent $1.897 billion.
The average spending per tourist remained stable, however, shifting from $111.65 last year to $110.57 this November, a variation of just 1 percent.
The Mexican tourism industry, which contributes 8.7 percent of the country’s GDP, will not fully recover until 2023, according to estimates by Miguel Torruco, the head of the Tourism Secretariat.
Even so, Mexico was the third-most-visited country in the world by foreign tourists in 2020, according to estimates by the World Tourism Organization, a phenomenon attributed to the much more flexible health measures in the country’s tourist zones.
Mexico in 2019 established itself as one of the 10 most-visited countries in the world with more than 45 million international tourists, who spent $24.563 billion, a 9 percent annual increase.
The government on July 23 presented a plan to favor the hotel sector to try and deal with the coronavirus crisis that will include loans of 11.4 billion pesos (some $550 million) to lodging establishments at a maximum 13.5 percent interest rate.