Palenque was one site that saw an increase in visitors. Palenque was one site that saw an increase in visitors.

Archaeological sites see visitor numbers decline for first time in four years

Chichén Itzá and Tulum welcomed 15% fewer visitors in first two months

The number of foreign visitors to archaeological sites managed by the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) has dropped for the first time in four years.

INAH reported that numbers were down 5% in the first two months of the year, in contrast to previous years’ figures showing double-digit growth.

Chichén Itzá in Yucatán — one of the new Seven Wonders of the World and the most visited archaeological site in Mexico — saw international visitor numbers decline nearly 15%. Tulum, in Quintana Roo, saw a similar drop.

The decreases are significant considering that about half the total number of visitors are foreigners.

The federal Tourism Secretariat reported that at least eight of the country’s top 20 archaeological sites have reported a similar downward trend, with Mitla, Oaxaca; San Gervasio, Quintana Roo; and Cempoala, Veracruz, being the worst hit with decreases of 31%, 30% and 22% in the number of foreign visitors respectively.

But foreign visitors continue to be drawn to some archaeological areas, which saw major spikes in their numbers. El Tepozteco, Morelos; Malinalco, México state; and Palenque, Chiapas, saw their numbers shoot up by 181%, 60% and 49%.

Of the top three sites in the country — Chichén Itzá, Teotihuacán and Tulum — only the second saw growth during the first two months of the year.

Source: El Sol de México (sp)

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