The tourism sector accounts for eight percent of Mexico’s GDP. Therefore,the hotel industry is naturally linked to and dependent on tourism, which earlier this year faced an unthinkable combination of setbacks.
The effect of the global economic crisis and theoutbreak of the H1N1 flu-virus had a debilitating impact on tourism and thus the hotel industry, which saw a significant drop in occupancy rates across the country and postponement of hotel projects.Nevertheless, Mexico’s Tourism Ministry (SECTUR) revealed in late June that tourism is on the rebound, as the H1N1 flu-virus has been controlled and continues to be monitored. Occupancy rates in QuintanaRoo, home to Cancun, are currently at 50 percent, up from 20 percent in recent months.
Hotels in Mexico City are now 59 percent full, up from a crippling 10 percent in May. The Grand Tourism,Boutique and Five Star Hotels were affected the most.
Recognizing the importance of tourism to the economy, the Government of Mexico has launched a USD 1.2 billion campaign named “Visit Mexico” toattract foreign visitors to tourist destinations.
As tourism returns to normal levels, the hotel industry in Mexico represents an ongoing business opportunity for US exporters. In 2007, PresidentFelipe Calderon announced the National Infrastructure Program, which included the development of both new and existing tourist destinations.
This translates into a need for new hotels andrenovations to old ones, as hotel chains seek to become more competitive. In 2008, the industry reported a solid growth mark of 8.6 percent.
Mexico’s National Chamber of the Construction Industry estimatesthat foreign investment in the hotel industry reached US$4.6 billion during 2008, 34 percent more than the previous year.
The Chamber further predicts that private groups will invest US$9.3...