Mexico Remains Top Travel Destination for U.S. Market in Second Quarter
By Claire Bennett
October 16, 2012 10:20 PM
The Mexico Ministry of Tourism and the Mexico Tourism Board reported that as a result of the promotional strategies implemented in international markets, Mexico remains the top travel destination for the U.S. market for the second quarter of the year. In addition, the intent of North Americans to travel to Mexico grew 5.3 percent compared to the same period in 2011.
Secretary of Tourism and Director General Gloria Guevara explained that in the period January to July 2012, the number of international tourists (those which travel to Mexico, stay at least one night, and cross the border) increased by 4.1 percent with respect to the same period the prior year. Spending by international visitors also increased by 7.2 percent during this period.
Visitor arrivals by air to Mexico during the period January to August 2012 increased 6.1 percent with respect to 2011, 4.9 percent compared to 2010 and 11.7 percent compared to 2008. As a result of market diversification strategies, the period January to August registered an increase in the arrival of international visitors of 143 nationalities, among them Russia with 85 percent, Brazil with 51.5 percent, Venezuela with 45.6 percent, Argentina with 27.3 percent and China 27.2 percent, among others.
Secretary Guevara said that the performance of the country's 70 principal tourist centers in terms of average occupied rooms reported positive figures; average hotel occupancy has grown for 17 consecutive months, and has already exceeded that of 2008.
Drawing upon the success of promotional initiatives, in the period January to September of this year, the average number of occupied rooms has grown by 8.5 percent and hotel occupancy has increased four percentage points in the destinations of the Mayan World.
Rodolfo Lopez-Negrete, Deputy Director General of the Mexico Tourism Board, said that during the second quarter of 2012, the intent to travel to Mexico in the North American market increased by 5.3 percentage points, with respect to the same period the prior year. Among the main country brands, that of Mexico registered the greatest growth during this period, indicating that the intention to travel to Mexican destinations continues to grow among the North American market.
Lopez-Negrete also said the advertising allocation presented an increase of 3.5 percentage points with respect to the second quarter of 2011, well above the variation presented by competitors such as Hawaii, the Caribbean and Costa Rica. This variable measures how well the American consumer identifies publicity about Mexico compared to advertising for other destinations.
As for brand awareness, Lopez-Negret noted that Mexico has the highest mention about its competitors, registering growth of 3 percent with respect to the second quarter of 2011. To measure this variable, potential tourists were asked to name the destinations outside of the continental United States that come to mind when they think of traveling, and Mexico continues to be the most remembered.
Lopez-Negrete said that Mexico’s website (www.visitmexico.com) has advanced from twelfth to sixth place, according to evaluation studies. In addition, the website has doubled its number of visitors, from 2.2 million during January to August 2011 to 4.1 million during the same period this year. The growth in Mexico's social media channels has multiplied 54 times with over half a million users, while the interaction with users has reached levels exceeding industry standards. The destination also has established a plan for updates, which will see the launch of the new version of "VisitMexico 3.0" in December in five languages.