December 2, 2013
Fox Latino News, 11/30/2013
Once centered on timeshares and rowdy bars largely frequented by Americans and Canadians, northern Baja California’s tourism industry is rebounding with the exploding fame of local chefs, the expansion of boutique hotels and a burgeoning art scene creating a buzz in travel magazines.
This year, foreigners made up more than 45 percent of all visitors, after dropping to a low of less than 25 percent when cartels unleashed unprecedented bloodshed, leaving beheaded bodies on Tijuana’s streets. Sport fishing licenses — which are almost exclusively sought by Americans — have increased more than 75 percent during that time, according to Baja California’s tourism department.
December 2, 2013
Los Angeles Times, 12/1/2013
Since the 1990s, after several decades of relative stasis, Mexico City’s cultural ecology has experienced an efflorescence. A cosmopolitan mix of important Mexican and expatriate artists — Britain’s Melanie Smith, Belgium’s Francis Alÿs, Mexico’s Silvia Gruner, Gabriel Orozco, Abraham Cruzvillegas, Teresa Margolles, Eduardo Abaroa and scores more — has been accompanied by significant growth in art’s essential critical, curatorial and commercial apparatus.
What was missing was a museum. A good museum functions as a permeable membrane between a rigorously involved art world and an otherwise preoccupied public. Its absence here was no small void. Now, with the opening of the Museo Jumex, that gap is poised to close. An international program in contemporary art, including a significant permanent collection and an ambitious exhibition schedule, has made an impressive debut.
November 26, 2013
Fox News Latino, 11/25/2013
Tucked into a protected bay on Mexico’s Pacific Coast, Acapulco has in recent years become the poster child for how the country’s vicious drug war has turned a once idyllic tourist destination into a killing field.
Headless bodies, gang rapes of tourists and hours-long shootouts have driven even the hardiest of visitors away from the city’s famed beaches and high-rise hotels. Foreign visitors flying in have decreased from over 350,000 in 2006 to fewer than 61,000 in 2012 and the once popular spring break destination saw the number of U.S. college students visiting drop by 92 percent in the last three years.
While Acapulco – and border cities like Ciudad Juárez and Reynosa – have dominated the headlines for the gruesome drug violence, much of Mexico’s 761,606 square miles remain relatively safe for both tourists and business interests. Analysts and travel experts tend to agree that Mexico is both as dangerous and as safe as it ever has been; it just depends on where one travels.
November 15, 2013
International Business Times, 11/15/2013
Violence in Mexico has reached alarming levels in the past few years, harming the country’s image outside its borders. Within Mexico, crime claims not only its direct victims, but is also costing the country a significant chunk of its GDP.
Mercedes Juan López, head of the Health Department, said Thursday that violent crimes cost Mexico between 8 and 15 percent of economic output every year. The costs of material damage, insurance and medical care for victims as well as lost productivity account for the surprising figure, she said.
August 22, 2013
Private companies plan to invest $8.6 billion in tourism projects in Mexico over the next three years, President Enrique Pena Nieto said on Wednesday, as the country’s tourism industry works to overcome publicity from drug-related violence.
The investment will focus on building new hotels, refurbishing existing ones, and giving public spaces a facelift. Acapulco, one of Mexico’s most famous beach resorts, has become one of the most violent cities in the Americas over the past three years because of in-fighting among drug gangs.
July 10, 2013
Fox News Latino, 7/10/2013
Hotel occupancy in Mexico grew by 6.7 percent in the first half of 2013 compared with the same period last year, the Tourism Secretariat said Tuesday. On June 30, the average number of hotel rooms rented in the country’s 70 main tourist destinations during the first half of this year rose to 194,038, while during the same period in 2012 an average of 181,787 rooms were rented.
The beach destinations that reported the largest increase in hotel occupancy were Nuevo Vallarta (31.5 percent), Puerto Escondido (23.7 percent), Cancun (13.1 percent) and the Riviera Maya (7.9 percent). With regard to the large cities, those registering the greatest increases in hotel occupancy were Monterrey, with 10.1 percent, Guadalajara, with 6.4 percent, and Mexico City, with 6.3 percent.
June 25, 2013
Mexico’s tourism industry, already the nation’s fifth-biggest source of revenue, is seen taking on more economic importance by the end of 2018 as international visits rise and new infrastructure is built, according to a cabinet official. Tourism’s participation in Mexican gross domestic product will climb 100 basis points to 9.4 percent by the end President’s Enrique Pena Nieto’s administration, Tourism Minister Claudia Ruiz Massieu said in an interview at Bloomberg’s New York offices on June 21. The “upward trend” for the industry, which employs about 7 million people, will be driven by more visitors from countries outside of North America and better tourism facilities, she said.
“Tourism is already one of the most important economic sectors for Mexico,” Ruiz Massieu said. “We are confident that it can represent at least one point more of GDP at the end of the administration and that we can become the third source of revenue at least.” Last year, tourism generated $12.7 billion in foreign exchange inflows, according to a report by JPMorgan Chase & Co., a 10.5 percent increased versus 2011. Tourism trails manufacturing, oil, remittances and foreign direct investment as the nation’s biggest source of revenue, according to Citigroup Inc.’s Banamex unit.
June 18, 2013
Los Angeles Times, 6/18/2013
Things are looking up for tourism in Mazatlan, Mexico. The Pacific Coast resort, with 20-plus miles of beaches and dozens of high-end resorts, has long been a favorite with American tourists. Mexico’s ongoing drug war, however, caused concern on both sides of the border. But recent infrastructure changes, coupled with an overhaul of Mazatlan’s police force, have quieted fears.
Now the Mexican Riviera city has just had its best spring season ever and is poised to have a record-breaking summer season, according to tourism bureau statistics. The London Financial Times named it one of the Top 10 American Cities of the Future, rating it as Mexico’s top medium-sized city in terms of its future economic expectations and cost effectiveness.
June 10, 2013
Violence in Mexico is back in the news and so is the perennial question: Is Mexico safe? In just the last few weeks there have been stories of 12 young people allegedly abducted in daylight from a Mexico City club; the death by beating of Malcolm X’s grandson, also in the capital; the kidnapping of a U.S. Marine reservist from his father’s ranch; the freeing of 165 people, including two pregnant women, who had been held prisoner; and the case of an Arizonan mom traveling on a bus who was arrested and jailed, accused of smuggling drugs.
That’s all before you look at the staggering toll of the years-long war between security forces and drug cartels — at least 60,000 people killed in drug-related violence from 2006 to 2012, according to Human Rights Watch. Other observers put the number even higher. Outside of war zones, more Americans have been killed in Mexico in the last decade than in any other country outside the United States, and the number of U.S. deaths jumped from 35 in 2007 to 113 in 2011. But those numbers do not lead to any simple conclusion.
June 7, 2013
Associated Press, 6/6/2013
Mexico hopes the visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping to this country’s most emblematic Mayan ruins Thursday will spark a mass influx of tourists from China, the world’s largest tourism spender. But officials and industry insiders said it’s still a long way before Mexico can capitalize on the opportunity. Xi and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto toured the archaeological site of Chichen Itza in Yucatan and spoke about expanding their commercial ties.
The Chinese leader said he trusts that some of the 400 million Chinese tourists who will travel abroad in the next five years will find Mexico’s ancient ruins and resort cities alluring. Xi’s three-day stay in Mexico has been used to pump for an increase in Chinese visitors. On Tuesday, Mexico boasted of a 35 percent increase in Chinese tourists in the first four months of the year. On Thursday, the Tourism Department said it wants to increase flights from China and put up more Mandarin signs in key areas, hoping to make China the No. 1 source of Asian travelers to Mexico.