ACAPULCO — More than 1,000 buyers from 87 countries met in Acapulco this week for the 42nd annual Tianguis Turistico, hosted by the Mexican Tourism Board. There was a lot to celebrate as Mexico announced impressive arrival figures showing a large increase in international visitors.
In 2016 Mexico became the ninth most visited country in the world, up from 14th in 2012, having received more than 35 million international travellers. This represents a 9% increase over 2016, while the global average was only 3.9%, and a 53% increase since 2012.
“Here at Tianguis we want to showcase what we have achieved and how we plan to move forward, sharing the historically record numbers that Mexico is seeing, both with international and domestic tourism, so that we can share our country with the world,” said Mexico’s President, Enrique Pena Nieto.
Bumper tourism figures to Mexico have been supported by robust global tourism trends, great value, global marketing efforts by the MTB, as well as more airlift into Mexico and massive investment into hotel rooms. Mexico has added 16,700 rooms in the past five years, for a total of 737,000 with occupancy averaging 80%, said Nieto.
Mexico may benefit from a redirection of tourists away from destinations affected by terrorism or the Zika virus, which has hit some countries in the region harder. It remains to be seen how the election of President Trump in the U.S. will affect arrivals from that country over the coming year.
While Mexico has almost 14,000 kilometres of coastline and 450 internationally recognized beaches, its offering extends far beyond sun and beach. The country’s 3,000 year-old culture has given rise to 34 UNESCO World Heritages Sites, 47,000 archeological sites, 111 ‘Magical Towns’, and Mexican cuisine was also designated as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
“Mexico is a country with many millennia of history, fabulous cuisine, many different activities and a great history, but most of all we have warm and friendly people open to sharing the beauty of our country,” said the President.
Tianguis Turistico, held once a year and alternating between Acapulco and other Mexican destinations, is the premier travel trade show for the country, attracting an increasing number of participants from all over the world. This year saw more than 37,000 appointments between more than 1,600 buyers, 657 exhibitors and 32 federal entities at Mundo Imperial. Next year’s Tianguis will take place in Mazatlan.