TITLE:				MEXICAN TOURISM MARKET UPDATE

SUBJECT COUNTRY:		MEXICO

POST OF ORIGIN:			MEXICO CITY

SERIES:				INTERNATIONAL MARKET INSIGHT (IMI)

ITA INDUSTRY CODE:		TRA

DATE OF REPORT (YYMMDD):	000606

DELETION DATE (YYMMDD):		020606

AUTHOR:				JORGE CHICO

APPROVING OFFICER:		DANNY DEVITO

OFFICER'S TITLE:		COMMERCIAL ATTACH

NUMBER OF PAGES:		3

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INTERNATIONAL COPYRIGHT, U.S. & FOREIGN COMMERCIAL SERVICE AND 
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE, 2000.  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED OUTSIDE OF 
THE UNITED STATES.
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Mexican tourists who stay at least one night abroad, numbered 
almost 10 million in 1999, representing a 6.9 percent growth 
compared to 1998. 

In terms of dollar receipts and expenditures, Mexican 
international travelers spent US$3.4 billion abroad in 
1997(excluding passenger fare receipts). This represents only 60 
percent of the record year in 1992 but it shows a growing trend 
of approximately 10% yearly after the 1995 devaluation of the 
Mexican peso.

Domestic tourism dominates the Mexican travel market with a 91.3% 
share of total travelers. Foreign travel, however, is expected to 
continue growing more rapidly than domestic tourism between 1996 
and 1999, gaining a market share of 9.2% compared to the present 
8.7%.
 
The U.S. is clearly the favored destination for Mexican 
travelers. Several factors account for this preference: 
proximity; the strong business ties between the two countries; 
the presence of large Mexican communities in the U.S.; the 
facility in reaching the U.S. through a large number of direct 
flights; and a wide variety of attractions and services.

Mexico has traditionally been the second largest source of 
visitors to the United States, after Canada. On the other hand, 
the United States is the number one choice for the Mexican 
outbound traveler with more than 90% share of all departures to 
foreign destinations. 

The air component of total arrivals for one night or more is the 
most lucrative sector of this tourism market. Air travelers from 
Mexico to the United States numbered almost 1.5 million in 1999. 
As the Mexican economy continues to recover and purchasing power 
increases, air arrivals are expected to continue on the upswing 
with an estimated annual growth rate of at least 7%.

Business and convention travel to the U.S. increased 
significantly in the last five years due to the NAFTA and now 
account for 41% of Mexican air travel to the U.S.  Leisure and 
holiday accounts for 31% of total travel. Visits to friends and 
relatives, which represents 32% of travelers, have also 
increased.

The average number of trips Mexicans take by air to the U.S. 
differs greatly among business and leisure travelers. While 
business travelers take 7.2 trips, leisure travelers only take an 
average of 3.5. The length of stay in the U.S. averaged 10.3 
nights in 1998. 

In 1998 air travelers to the U.S. spent an average of US$119 per 
person per day. Leisure spending has increased more than business 
spending.

During 1996, three states accounted for almost 50% of total 
Mexican arrivals. Not surprisingly, two of these are border-
states with a very significant Mexican immigrant population. 
California continues to hold the number one share of 27% of 
arrivals. Florida attracts 17% of Mexican visitors, while Texas 
has seen its share of arrivals increase to 15%. 

The following table shows the types of transportation used in the 
U.S. (based on multiple response).

				1997		1998
Rented Automobile		38%		34%
Private Automobile		32%		31%
Airline in the U.S.		17%		24%
Rail between cities		 6%		 6%
Bus Between cities		 6$		 5%

		
Tour operators, wholesalers, and retail travel agencies are very 
influential in the consumer's decision-making process. They play 
a pivotal part of any promotional effort undertaken in Mexico. 
Promotional activities in Mexico include: trade shows, sales 
missions, direct sales calls, and media promotions.

Sources of information:

- Tourism Industries, International Trade Administration, U.S. 
Department of Commerce.
- Direccion de Investigacion Economica, Banco de Mexico 

For more information please contact:

Jorge Chico
Commercial Specialist
U.S. Commercial Service - Mexico City
Phone: (011-52) 5140-2633
Fax: (011-52) 5535-1139
E-mail: jorge.chico@mail.doc.gov

or visit Tourism Industries web site at: www.tinet.ita.doc.gov.