Any time a country or region imposes any sort of visa stipulation - even if it’s a waiver - the travel industry sighs a collective groan, knowing the obstacles and headaches to come.
MEXICO CITY — Mexico’s global air connectivity continues its growth trajectory with the addition of 1.5 million seats on direct flights to Mexico in 2018.
The Mexico Tourism Board says the increase in air connectivity is expected to result in nearly 30 million seats by the end of the year to accommodate demand.
Mexico welcomed 10.6 million tourists in the first quarter of 2018, a record-breaking number representing a 12.6% increase compared to the 9.4 million documented international visitor arrivals during the same period in 2017.
Mexico is now the sixth most visited country in the world with 39.3 million international visitors in 2017, of which 18.6 million travelled by air.
Tourism revenue also grew by 7.2% in the first quarter of 2018 over the same period in 2017, reaching $6.2 billion.
The MTB says Mexico’s commitment to increasing air connectivity to match consumer demand has led to investments in developing close partnerships with airlines, hotels and the tourism industry, diversifying tourism products and promoting new and established destinations.
“Increasing air connectivity is a critical component of our tourism growth strategy,” said Enrique de la Madrid, Secretary of Tourism. “The expansion of air routes not only offers visitors from all corners of the globe better access to all that Mexico has to offer, it also solidifies Mexico’s appeal to the business sector.”
As part of its connectivity strategy Mexico is aiming to strengthen its tourism source market diversification, increasing the number of tourist arrivals from markets including China, Japan, South Korea, the Middle East and India.
More than a dozen new air routes launching in 2018 includes new service between Mexico City and Vancouver.
The introduction of 16 new direct routes into Mexico will contribute to the 1.5 million new seats on direct flights, says the MTB. Mexico’s domestic carriers accounted for over half of the capacity increases, including a 19.8% increase with Interjet and a 7.4% increase with Aeromexico.
International carriers from North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia also added to the growth in seats, including Air Canada (22.1%+), WestJet (19.6%+) and Air Transat (8.8%+).