Mexico remains one of North America’s favorite vacation destinations,in spite of the violence related to drug cartels along the border. In 2011 Mexico saw more than 22 million visitors from around the world,many of whom came from Canadians looking to escape cold winter temperatures.
In fact,Canada is second only to the US in the number of visitors that head to Mexico each year,with 794,000 Canadians visiting in 2005 according to Statistics Canada – a number that has been growing steadily ever since. In 2011 the number of Canadian travelers to Mexico is projected to have passed the 1.6 million mark,which is more than twice the 2005 number.
“It’s a huge percentage of growth,and we believe that will continue to get better,” stated Rodolfo Lopez Negrete,who is COO for the Mexico Tourism Board. “I don’t think Canadians will pull back.”
Lopez Negrete recently joined Gloria Guevara,who is Mexico’s Tourism Secretary,on a visit to Calgary and Vancouver that was aimed at dispelling fears surrounding recent reports of violence against tourists. Mexico’s tourism officials have been reaching out to partners such as Canada in an effort to put the incidents in perspective.
Canadians currently represent around 15% of the total number of international tourists visiting Mexico real estate,but the Tourism Board hopes to boost that to 25% over the next five years. To accomplish this,new marketing campaigns will focus on Mexico’s many cultural attractions,such as the many Mayan Archaeological sites located throughout the country. In addition,there are a number of direct flights to and from Mexico from destinations in Canada,including Calgary,Edmonton Hamilton,Montreal,Toronto and Vancouver.
In addition,when the occasional act of violence does occur in a heavily visited tourist destination,the Mexican justice system has acted promptly and decisively to bring justice to those involved.
“What occurs in the border towns with the US is one thing that is totally different to what occurs in destinations like Cancun,Cozumel,Merida and Vallarta,” state Lopez Negrete.