Mexico’s tourism industry has been hit by some serious blows this year. Numbers have so far fallen by 4 million, a total of 5.1% of overall tourists to Mexico. As a result, the Mexicans have lost around $ US 200 million in revenue. The reasons for this are down to social, economic and natural elements.
This year’s weather has been blamed for putting tourists off as Mexico endured a wet summer and suffered the effects of hurricane Wilma. The cruise resorts Cancun and Riviera Maya are currently involved in a rebuilding programme aiming to increase the number of cruise passengers in the region. On the domestic front, sinking numbers of holiday-makers have been put down to this year’s football world cup and the summer elections. It has been suggested that potencial visitors were stuck at home watching television rather than go on trips.
Blame has similarly been placed on the Mexican government, which has been accused of not investing enough into tourism. Although tourism is said to pump around $ US 60 billion per year and employ around 1.8 million Mexicans, the government still fails to see its importance. For example, many of Acapulco’s hotels desperately need modernization.
Acapulco not long ago saw the decapitation of 2 policemen, just an example of brutal violence the country has been experiencing. Violence and drug-related crime explains why Americans have been steering clear of Mexico’s northern border towns. Formerly a haven for 1-day back packers, the town Nuevo Laredo has been the seen of 160 murders so far this year. Kidnappings and robberies have also been unsurprisingly deterring visitors. Indeed, the US government issued a statement in September discouraging American citizens from going anywhere near the northern border towns or other places such as Oaxaca in the south, where 6 months of civil unrest and 10 murders have dislodged the city from the average tourist’s list of destinations. As Mexico relies heavily on the revenue which tourism brings, all of the above factors are extremely damaging.