Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 01/08/2014 -- BMI believes Mexico's tourism industry has enormous long-term potential, largely due to its proximity to the US. However, there are concerns in regards to rising levels of insecurity and the negative image this is sending to potential tourists.
Data from the Mexican Ministry of Tourism (Sectur) shows that tourist arrivals to Mexico continued to decline over the first seven months of the year. Between January and July 2013, 13.8mn tourists arrived in Mexico, a decline of 0.1% annually. This decline was led by a fall in cruise arrivals, of 11.4%, suggesting that Mexico is continuing to suffer from a reduction in routes visiting the country, perhaps owing to security concerns. Similarly, border tourism (defined as one-night or day-only tourists) fell by 5.2%, which is a worrying sign as it indicates that fewer US tourists are visiting Mexico.
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These arrivals data are in line with our forecasts for a 0.07% decline in tourist arrivals in 2013, with BMI predicting full-year arrivals of 10.8mn. Tourism expenditure has continued to rise despite a decline in arrivals. This is also in line with our positive forecasts for transport and travel receipts in 2013. We forecast a 2.9% increase in total tourism receipts in 2013, to US$13.5bn, with receipts for transport services growing by 4.8% to US$0.47bn and receipts for travel items growing by 2.8% to US$13.02bn.
Key forecasts for Mexico's tourism industry:
- BMI has ranked Mexico fourth in its Americas regional ratings this quarter, down from third in the previous quarter. However, this is due to an upgrade in Uruguay's rating, placing it above Mexico, rather than a decline in Mexico's tourism fundamentals.
- BMI has revised its forecast for inbound tourist arrivals. Previously, we were forecasting an arrivals decline of 3.0%, but this has now been revised to a decline of only 0.1%. This improved forecast is a result of improved arrivals forecast from North America.
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