Foreign direct investment (FDI) in Mexico’s tourism sector declined by 50% last year to just under US $800 million, government statistics show.
Data from the Secretariat of Tourism (Sectur) reveals that foreign investors spent US $798.5 million on tourism projects in 2018 compared to US $1.585 billion in 2017.
Of the former amount, 61% went to the construction of tourist-oriented apartments and homes and 24.2% was invested in new hotels.
FDI in tourism represented 2.5% of all foreign investment in Mexico last year, which was US $31.6 billion.
In the 20 years since tourism FDI was first recorded in 1999, just under US $20.4 billion has come into the sector from abroad, a figure which equates to 3.8% of all foreign investment in the period.
The federal government has indicated that it will attempt to attract greater FDI in tourism by supporting private developments and offering opportunities for investment in its own tourism infrastructure projects, most notably the Maya Train.
The government will only provide 10% of the estimated 150 billion pesos (US $8 billion) needed to complete the ambitious Yucatán peninsula rail project with the remainder to come from the private sector.
Announcing the new national tourism strategy last month, President López Obrador emphasized the importance of tourism to Mexico’s economic well-being, pointing out that it is the country’s third biggest foreign exchange earner behind the automotive industry and remittances by Mexicans working abroad.
A record 41.4 million international tourists came to Mexico last year, 5.5% more than in 2017, but some travel industry experts have expressed concern that visitor numbers will fall this year due to the government’s decision to disband the tourism marketing agency.
It was revealed this week that Mexico fell one position in the 2018 ranking of the world’s top tourism destinations. It is now in the seventh place.
Source: Milenio (sp)