In April this year, the economic impact generated by international tourists coming to Mexico on holiday fell by 1.9 percent annually, breaking a two-year streak of sustained growth since the fourth month of 2021.
This figure affected international tourists' average expenditure, which fell by 5.2 percent to $741 in April, although still above pre-pandemic levels.
Meanwhile, international travelers visiting the country saw moderate growth of 3.5% in April. Over 3.1 million foreign tourists visited during the fourth month of the year, with more than 90% arriving in Mexico by air.
According to the Centre for Tourism Research and Competitiveness (Cicotur) at the University of Anahuac, tourism activity in the country slowed down in April. Although international tourism receipts grew 41.4 percent in January compared to the same month last year, the growth decreased to 20.7 percent in February and 7.3 percent in March.
Tourist arrivals at the border have remained stagnant in 2023, with only a slight positive difference compared to 2019. Monthly results also indicate a slowdown. However, international tourist arrivals in Mexico have increased by 13.7% in the first four months of this year compared to last year, with 13.2 million tourists entering the country between January and April.
However, foreign tourist arrivals have not yet recovered to pre-pandemic levels. While in the first four months of 2019, INEGI recorded the arrival of 14.6 million foreign tourists, in the same period this year, this indicator stood at 13.2 million, 9.9 percent less.
There is more international competition this year than in previous years, so Mexico needs to market itself more actively as a tourist destination abroad.
In the first four months of the year, data from the Ministry of the Interior (Segob) show that American tourists were the most frequent air travelers to Mexico, with 4.2 million passengers. However, this figure represents a drop of almost 2 percent in USA travelers.
Colombia and the United Kingdom, the third and fourth most important markets in tourism to Mexico, also reported a fall in air arrivals to Mexican destinations, with decreases of 6.6 percent and 10 percent, respectively.
Seat supply between Mexico and the United States fell by almost two percentage points in May and is expected to be negative for the fifth month, confirming the trend of a slowdown in the economic impact of international tourist arrivals.