Although the United States has
traditionally supplied the largest number of tourists to Mexico's hotspots,
like Cancun and Puerto Vallarta,hence the English menus,English-speaking
workers and signage. In a recent development,however,the Mexican tourism
ministry has launched an initiative to attract new tourists from the so-called
BRIC countries,which are Brazil,Russia,India and China. If Mexico's efforts
pay off as expected,menus and signs may soon also feature a Chinese and
Russian version,thanks to Mexico's skill at making its guests feel welcome –
regardless of where they come from.
Mexico's tourism secretary Gloria
Guevara has been working hard behind the scenes to attract visitors from the
BRIC countries to consider Mexico as the perfect holiday destination. In 2011
alone,Guevara has managed to create agreements between two major Russian tour
operators and has up to 12 more in the making. In addition,the ministry has
created UnionPay to attract Chinese visitors,which is a card that is accepted
at hotels and other businesses throughout Mexico to help reduce concerns
surrounding the currency exchange.
In addition,Mexico has worked hard to
significantly reduce the red tape associated with getting a visa,allowing
travelers who already have a valid US visa to enter the country without the
requirement of additional paperwork. According to Guevara,a process that used
to take months now takes only minutes.
Although the United States is expected
to remain one of the principal suppliers of visitors to Mexico in the coming
years,with six out of every ten tourists currently hailing from North America,
the growing role of BRIC countries in the global economy and the increasing
prosperity and growing populations of their citizens makes them a more
sustainable future growth prospect than the US. Guevara announced that Mexico
currently expects to receive at least 90,000 visitors from Russia in 2011,
which is up significantly from only 27,000 last year.