All adult residents of five tourism destinations would be vaccinated against Covid-19 before the summer vacation period under a plan proposed by the federal economy minister.
Tatiana Clouthier said Monday she had spoken with President López Obrador and proposed full vaccination in five as yet undetermined destinations in order to encourage more travel to Mexico over the summer.
“I believe that this will be fundamental as one of the initial measures [to reactivate tourism],” Clouthier said at a virtual economic forum.
“The president thought it was a very good idea, and we are [currently] determining what the five destinations will be,” she said.
The minister said the destinations chosen will be those where the local economies depend heavily on the tourism sector and have the capacity to attract international tourists.
Destinations that meet those criteria include Los Cabos, Baja California; Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco; and Cancún, Quintana Roo.
Clouthier also said the government is focusing more on promoting ecotourism because, as a result of the pandemic, many travelers are seeking nature-oriented vacations.
“People are looking for different tourism spaces, to be close to nature. … We’ve been working to promote some of these spaces — I’m going to call it ecological tourism, greener, more local tourism. … We’re working with [social media] influencers to promote these spaces,” she said.
Clouthier added that the government is advocating an increase in direct flights to tourism hotspots so that travelers don’t have to transit through third cities to reach their final destination.
Air travel to Mexico from the United States — the No. 1 source country for international tourists — is expected to recover strongly this summer as many U.S. citizens have already been vaccinated against Covid-19 and are keen to go on vacation. The number of flights that have been scheduled between the two countries for this summer is up 6% from 2019.
The vaccine rollout has been much slower in Mexico: as of Monday night, 14.36 million doses — 11 per 100 people — had been administered.