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Mexico Gaining in Popularity as Holiday Destination

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The beautiful beaches and intriguing ancient monuments of Mexico have always had a place on many world travellers’ wish lists, but for nearly the last decade visitors to this welcoming country have decreased in number. This year they are celebrating a climb of fourteen positions in the Travel and Tourism Competitive Index – the tourist industry’s annual round up of how popular each place amongst 141 economies is as a holiday destination, or, as they put it, “the set of factors and policies that enable the sustainable development of the Travel & Tourism sector, which in turn, contributes to the development and competitiveness of a country.”

The jump from last year’s position of 44th in the world to its current position of 30th is Mexico’s best since 2007, and is a cause for celebration in the country. Mexican tourism bosses have put the increases down to the success of their international “Viva para creerlo” (Live it to believe it) campaign, which Rafael García González, President of the Mexican Association of Hotels and Motels (AMHM) and owner of the large chain of Robles hotels in Mexico says was “Well positioned at an international level and has been well executed.” There has also been an increase in air routes to Mexico, via carefully worked on alliances, making it easier to travel to the country from departure points around the world.

“More agreements are being made with other nations such as England and others are forthcoming with Germany and China. These cultural exchanges have provided strong momentum,” said García González. He admitted that security concerns, such as drug related violence and crime perpetrated upon visitors to the country as well as its own citizens may prevent or discourage tourism, but said that there are “well identified” and isolated hubs of insecurity and that he believes that this will improve in the affected states because safety is fundamental for travel. General advice for travelling to Mexico includes staying away from affected areas and being discreet with valuable items like cameras, phones, and jewellery.

The global economy has also had a strong effect on tourism in the country, and has prompted more Mexican holiday makers to take local holidays, travelling domestically rather than internationally. This is because the value of the US dollar has risen sharply compared to the Mexican peso, making it much cheaper for them to a break on home turf.

Mexico welcomed 29.1 million foreign tourists in 2014, generating $16.25 billion (£10.66 billion) in revenues. They hope to continue to build on this, and close 2015 with room occupancy increasing from 60 to 65 percent and a 5 percent growth in the number of visitors.

Ana Patricia de la Peña Sánchez, president of the Mexican Association of Tourism Development (Amdetur) announced: “To advance to the global ranking of 30th place in tourism, it is necessary to generate cutting edge technology, services, infrastructure and to reinvent ourselves like products.”

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