Mexico received 78.5% fewer international tourists in April than in the same month of 2019, going from 3.6 million to slightly less than 780,000 travelers due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI) reported today.
The main decrease, of 98.1%, was in tourists arriving by air, which last year represented just over 1.6 million people and this year did not exceed 31,100 travelers.
The smallest downward variation occurred among border tourists, although this type of travel decreased by 59.8% in April, when it touched close to 700,000 tourists.
This drop in the circulation of people responds to the COVID-19 pandemic, a disease that so far has left more than 124,301 infected and 14,649 dead in the country.
Mexico lost 93.7% of its foreign exchange earnings produced by tourism in April compared to the same month of 2019.
The average spending of each tourist also plummeted, it went from $260 last year to just $ 59 this April. Much of this is a result of business closed in many tourist destinations, less places for money to be spent.
The Mexican tourism industry, which contributes 8.7% of GDP, will not fully recover until 2023, according to estimates by Miguel Torruco, head of the Ministry of Tourism (Sectur).
Mexico was one of the 10 most visited countries in the world in 2019, receiving more than 45 million international tourists with an economic impact of $24.5 billion dollars, an annual growth of 9%.
However, in the face of the international crisis caused by COVID-19, the arrival of foreign visitors fell 34.4% annually in the first quarter of 2020 and the economic spill decreased 45.6%.
Last Monday, around 20 percent of the 200 hotels in the tourist area of the Mexican Caribbean was the first to resume their activity, with a reduced occupancy and strict sanitary protocols.