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Tourism in Mexico

México is a land of contrasts. From the vibrant colors woven into our textiles to the stunning hues of its landscape. From mountain ranges that run right down to the ocean's edge to lush tropical jungles and high snow capped volcanoes.


The original people of México had advanced knowledge of science, mathematics, astronomy and medicine. That past still permeates this land. It can be found in the traditions that have been passed down from generation to generation. It lives on the arts and music. And in the peculiar philosophy about life and death that make the Mexican people so unique and so charming.

So whether one comes to explore the archaeological treasures, wander through the colonial cities, or simply relax on the beautiful beaches, rest assured, one will take home memories and some of the magic of México as well.

México has a wealth of natural and cultural resources due to the diverse climatic conditions and to a historic tradition of more than 3,000 years. This makes the country an ideal destination for international tourists.


The Tourism Industry in Mexico

In 1994, 7.2 million foreign tourists visited Mexico. This number increases to 17.1 million if one counts the foreign visitors that crossed the border zone. Approximately 20 million tourists visited México in 1995. Of these, 80% come from the United States.

In March, 2004, international travel to Mexico generated more than US$1 billion in revenues in the one month, according to statistics released by Mexico's Tourism Secretariat.

This US$1.05 billion figure pushed the country's first-quarter international tourism revenues to US$2.94 billion, representing a 14 percent increase over first-quarter 2003 figures, Mexico's Tourism Secretariat reported. In January 2004 the figure was US$914 million, and in February 2004 US$972 million.

Mexico's Tourism Secretariat figures revealed that more than 5.2 million international tourists visited Mexico during the first quarter of 2004, 14.6 percent more than during the same period last year.

According to Mexico's Tourism Secretariat, an additional 2.1 million tourists arrived on cruise ships during the first quarter of 2004, up 0.2 percent from the same period in 2003; they spent 127 million dollars during the period, up 5.3 percent from the first three months of 2003.

Also breaking records was the average spending of international tourists while in Mexico, which Mexico's Tourism Secretariat reported at an all-time high of US$724 in the first quarter of 2004, up from US$690 during the same period in 2003.

According to Banco de Mexico, the tourism industry's trade balance during the first three months of 2004 posted a US$1.373 billion surplus, up 18 percent from the same period in 2003.

Tourism is the third most important economic activity in Mexico, representing 8.3 percent of the nation's Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The country currently ranks 8th in the number of international visitors and 10th in international tourism revenues, according to the World Tourism Organization (WTO).


Tourism Options in Mexico

México offers a great variety of options for the international tourist. These can be grouped into five main areas: Mayan World, Beaches and Recreational Centres, Archaeology and Prehispanic cultures, Colonial Cities and Architecture and Natural Riches Eco Tourism & Adventure. These groups are not exclusive and some travel options can combine two or more themes.

A considerable number of airlines offer services to México City and Guadalajara, and national airlines join most of the cities in the interior of the country. In addition, various cruiselines visit Mexican ports.

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