Mexico's beach tourist destinations experienced a boom of international tourists during the reactivation of international tourism after the coronavirus pandemic failed to continue the trend in 2023. The Migration Policy Unit reported a sharp decrease in visitor arrivals compared to the previous year, indicating lower competitiveness in the face of international supply.
In July 2023, the arrival of foreign visitors to airports located in beach destinations decreased by 10.2% for the fifth consecutive month, with only 1.1 million foreigners entering the country. This represents a decrease of about 128.1 thousand visitors compared to July 2022. Additionally, visitors to airports in cities decreased by 6% in the same month, with 582.6 thousand entries. This marks four consecutive months of decline, mainly due to Mexico City arrivals. Cancun (-12.2%) and Mexico City (-16.1%) airports decreased in July.
It is worth noting that Los Cabos airport is the only beach destination airport in the country that has experienced growth in the past month, with a 1.6% increase compared to the same month in 2022. This translates to an additional 3.1 thousand visitors. On the other hand, other important tourist centers, such as Puerto Vallarta (-9.5%), Cozumel (-21.6%), Mazatlan (-32.1%), and Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo (-34.3%), experienced significant declines in July. Puerto Vallarta and Mazatlan have seen three consecutive months of decline, Cozumel has a decline for four months, and Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo for five.
Except for Mexico City, airports in cities showed a more positive trend than beach destinations. The number of international visitors arriving in Guadalajara and Monterrey, the country's fifth and sixth most popular destinations, increased by 7.2% and 31.5%, respectively, in July compared to last year. Arrivals to Merida also saw a 14.3% growth. In addition, airports in Morelia, Aguascalientes, and Oaxaca also recorded an increase in arrivals in July, with growth rates of 0.8%, 15.8%, and 40.5%, respectively. However, the airports at Silao, Guanajuato, and Querétaro have recorded a decline in the number of international visitors for the first time since April 2021, with a reduction of 2% and 0.2%, respectively, in July of this year.
International visitors arriving at Cancun airport by air have decreased since March. Visitors were down by five months in July compared to the same period in 2022. Cancun airport is the country's most important airport for foreign visitor arrivals.
In July, 775.4 thousand visitors arrived at the destination's airport, of which 63.8% were residents of the United States, amounting to 495 thousand visitors. The United States is the most important market for this destination, but it has declined since February. In July, American visitors decreased by 13.5% compared to last year. For the first seven months of this year, the decrease was 15.2%, which means 540.3 thousand fewer visitors.
Several essential source markets for the destination have significantly decreased in the last month. For instance, the United Kingdom experienced a decrease of 19.4%, Colombia 34.5%, Peru 19.6%, and Spain 15.2%, all in double digits. Moreover, the Brazilian market has suffered a sharp reduction of 44%, which began at the end of 2021 due to immigration procedures.