The National Tourism Business Council (CNET) has asked the federal government for 2 billion pesos to help fund a new tourism marketing agency. But the government appears unlikely to provide the funds.
CNET vice-president Cristina Alcayaga said the request for funding was submitted to the secretariats of Tourism (Sectur) and Finance (SHCP) a few weeks ago.
The council proposed that the 2 billion pesos (US $106 million) come out of funds collected through the DNR tourist tax that foreigners pay when entering Mexico by air.
DNR tax revenue was previously used to fund the Tourism Promotion Council (CPTM) but the government has disbanded the marketing agency and both President López Obrador and Tourism Secretary Miguel Torruco have said that the tourist tax money will instead go to the Maya Train project.
The latter said during a visit to Cancún this week that the federal government won’t provide any funding for a new private sector-led marketing initiative and that in two weeks a new self-financing tourism promotion model will be presented.
Torruco added that during the governments of Felipe Calderón and Enrique Peña Nieto, 37 billion pesos (just under US $2 billion at today’s exchange rate) were spent on tourism promotion through the CPTM.
The secretary contended that there should be an assessment to determine whether spending that amount of money was worth it considering that Mexico is in 15th place in terms of overall spending by international tourists and in 40th place for per-capita spending.
Some tourism experts have predicted that the government’s decision to disband the CPTM will benefit other holiday destinations in the region.
José Manuel Campos, president of the Confederation of Chambers of Commerce, Services and Tourism (Concanaco), said last week that a new privately funded tourism marketing agency will start operations later this year but even so Alcayaga said there is great concern about how Mexico will be able to participate in upcoming international tourism fairs.
She added that if the government provides 2 billion pesos, “we’ll be creative, contributing anything else [we need] to have our own promotional council . . .”
Source: El Economista (sp)