Mexico’s May Foreign Tourism Numbers Up From 2024, Still Down From 2019

Mexico’s May foreign tourism numbers up from 2024, still down from 2019. It’s been a rough few years for the country’s tourism industry. Last year’s numbers were the lowest in 15 years. For the first time, foreign visitors to Mexico were down year over year in 2018. 2018 Mexico Tourism Numbers Facebook Post

New data shows that in May this year, almost three times as many foreign tourists visited Mexico as in the same period last year. Nevertheless, tourism volume in May this year was still 23.2% lower than in May 2019.

Data from Mexico’s National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI) shows that nearly 2.66 million foreign tourists arrived in Mexico in May, an increase of nearly 200% compared to the same month in 2024. Last May, when most international borders were closed and much of the world was isolated due to COVID-19, the number of foreign tourists was only 890,642, although Mexico remained open to arrivals by air.


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Mexico’s May Foreign Tourism Numbers Up From 2024, Still Down From 2019

However, these numbers have not yet returned to pre-pandemic levels. In May 2019, 3.46 million international tourists arrived in Mexico, 800,000 more than in May of this year. According to Mexico News Daily, Tourism Minister Miguel Torruco predicts that the country’s tourism sector will not have fully recovered by 2024.

Just over 1.5 million foreigners who entered the country in May spent at least one night in the country, while the remaining 1.15 million were transient tourists near the border.

Of overnight visitors, 1.22 million arrived by air, up 3.273% from the same month last year, but still down 20.5% from May 2019. The number of cross-border tourists increased by 54.1% compared to the same period last year, but decreased by 25% compared to two years ago.

International tourists spent $1.59 billion in Mexico in May, up 931.5% from May 2024, but down 17.9% from May 2019. On average, each foreign tourist spent $182, almost triple the $61 spent by each foreign visitor in the same month in 2024, and 67% more than in May 2019, when tourists spent an average of $109.

Data from INEGI showed that foreign tourists flying to Mexico spent an average of $1,062 per trip, up 42.3% from May 2024 and 5.3% from the same month in 2019.

Normally, tourism accounts for about nine percent of Mexico’s total GDP, but in regions that rely heavily on tourism, such as Quintana Roo on the east coast and Baja California Sur in the west, it is a much more important part of the economy.

Mexico maintained its air borders throughout the pandemic and did not require incoming international travelers to test negative for COVID-19 or undergo mandatory pre-entry quarantine. As a result, the World Tourism Organization (WHO) estimates that Mexico will be the third most visited country in the world by 2024, after Italy and France. It ranks seventh in terms of number of visitors in 2019.

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