Mexico Attractions & Amenities
Ancient civilization ruins, tropical weather, stunning nature, and authentic food are just a few of the many attractions that lure travelers to Mexico. Mexico is the most competitive Latin American travel destination, based on the last Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index (TTCI), a method that evaluates infrastructure, policies, resources, and enabling conditions for tourism in countries around the world.
Mexico’s TTCI score improved consistently in the most recent editions of the study, pushed in large part by its natural and cultural wealth. In 2019, that feature was the best-performing TTCI sub-sector for tourism development in the country.
For this reason, tourism is a major economic activity in the North American country. By the end of the last decade, this sector was responsible for more than 8.5 percent of the Mexican gross domestic product (GDP), which is the second-largest GDP in Latin America and the Caribbean.
International and domestic tourism in Mexico
With the largest number of international tourist arrivals among Latin American and Caribbean countries, Mexico alone accounted for approximately one-quarter of the region’s international tourism revenue in 2019. By a wide margin, the United States is the main source market for Mexico’s inbound tourism. In 2020, arrivals of air travelers with U.S. residency were nearly three times higher than the combined number of air passenger arrivals from the other 11 leading countries of origin for international tourism in Mexico.
Nonetheless, it is domestic tourism the main driver of the sector’s economy. Throughout the 2010s, the tourism consumption by domestic travelers more than tripled the expenditure of inbound and outbound tourists. In that same decade, the number of domestic overnight guests in Mexican hotels climbed by 39 percent, peaking at more than 60 million in 2019.
Tourism in Mexico during COVID-19
As countries around the world closed their borders, forcing the tourism sector to a standstill, Mexico followed a different path by allowing international visitors into the country without the requirement of coronavirus (COVID-19) test or vaccine certificates. In consequence, the Latin American country became a harbor for international travelers from all around the world during the health crisis. Nonetheless, Mexico has also felt the impact of COVID-19 on its tourism sector. In 2020, the contribution of accommodation services to the Mexican GDP experienced a year-over-year drop of more than 50 percent, while the food service’s contribution to GDP recorded a contraction of over 70 percent.