The international tourism industry has grown considerably over the last few years, increasing
from 691 million international tourists in 2002 to 898 million in 2007,11 representing a CAGR of
7%. Europe receives 54% of all international tourists, while Asia receives 20% and the Americas
16%. With 21.4 million international tourists in 2007, Mexico is theeighth largest tourist destination in the world in terms of number of international arrivals, and the second largest in the
Americas, after the US.12 When measured in terms of international tourism receipts, Mexico is the eleventh most important destination in the world and the second largest in the Americas, after the US Tourism.
Tourism currently and historically has represented around 8% ofMexico’s GDP, and it is the
third largest source of foreign exchange earnings after oil and foreign remittances.13 In 2007, 92.2 million international visitors entered Mexican soil; 70.8 million were same-day visitors, while 21.4 million were international tourists (those who spend at least one night in Mexico).14
The economic implications of these two groups are very different. While same-dayvisitors spend on average US$35 per trip, full-time tourists tend to spend US$485 per trip. International tourists can be World Tourism Organization.
Categorized into two different groups, full-time tourists and border zone tourists (those who stay
Within the border influence area). In 2007, there were 13.0 million full-time international tourists
in Mexico, each spending $751 per trip,while the 8.4 million border zone tourists spent on verage $74 per trip (for a combined total of $485).15 As such, full-time tourists are the most important segment of all international visitors, as they generate 76% of tourism income in Mexico, while representing only 14% of the total number of visitors.
2007 | Number of people | Total expenditures | Average expenditure |
| (000's) |(US$mm) | per trip (US$) |
Total visitors | 92,233 | 12,901 | 140 |
Tourist | 21,424 | 10,389 | 485 |
within border zone | 8,414 |624 | 74 |
Full-time tourist | 13,010 | 9,766 | 751 |
Same day visitors | 70,810 | 2,512 | 35 |
within border zone |63,995 | 2,024 | 32 |
Cruise ships | 6,815 | 488 | 72 |
Source: Secretaria de Turismo.
While 61% of international full-time tourists visit Mexico for leisure, 27% do so to visitfamily;
6% are business travelers, 4% go to Mexico to visit friends, and 2% do so for other reasons.16
The most important destinations in Mexico for international tourists are Cancun and Cozumel (22%), Guadalajara (7%), Los Cabos (7%), Puerto Vallarta (6%), Mexico City (5%), Acapulco (4%), Monterrey (3%), and Mazatlan (2%).17 Mexico’s proximity to the US is reflected in the fact that 68% of allinternational full-time tourists in Mexico arrive from the US, followed by Canada 5%), the UK (2%), and Spain (2%).18
According to Mexico’s Tourism Ministry, 59% of full-time international tourists in Mexico stay in the country between six and ten days, while 19% spend less than five days in the country, 10% of them stay between 11 and 15 days, and 12% spend more than 15 days in Mexico. 80% of...