Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Foreign tourist arrivals up 3.6% in January 2024

Government data show Mexico’s tourism industry continues to rebound from COVID-19 pandemic levels, with visits from international travelers in January up 3.6% over the same month a year ago.

Although the number of international visitors was down compared to December — traditionally the most popular month to visit Mexico — the year-on-year increase continues last year’s trend in which each month surpassed the number of arrivals from the year before.

The national statistics agency INEGI reported that 3.64 million international tourists entered the country last month, up slightly from January 2023 when 3.51 million foreign visitors came to Mexico. These same international visitors spent US $2.94 billion during their stay, 4.6% better than what foreign tourists spent a year ago — $2.81 billion.

Overall arrivals from abroad, including Mexican citizens, also rose year-on-year in January. INEGI reported 6.48 million arrivals in January 2023 and 6.78 million in January this year, an increase of 4.6%.

The overall hike in arrivals was also spurred by a surge in Mexicans taking international flights or crossing the border. More than 4.95 million Mexican residents traveled abroad in January, up 20.3% over January 2023 (4.1 million). These numbers include those who simply crossed the border for a day-visit.

As for Mexican tourists (those who cross the border and spent at least one night outside the country), 1.59 million traveled abroad in January of this year as compared to 1.33 million last January.

Basilica of Guadalupe
Millions visit the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City for the Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe in December. (Gobierno CDMX/Cuartoscuro.com)

When compared to December figures (7.9 million total arrivals), tourism in January saw a slight decline but that is because the year-end holidays and the Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe on Dec. 12 attract so many visitors.

February — though with an extra day this year — normally sees a decline in tourism compared to January, while March, because of spring break when U.S. students flock to Mexican beaches, is usually the third-best month for tourism, behind December and January.

With reports from La Jornada

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