Despite the reactivation of the economy that the Government is already preparing to kick off on June 1, the Mexican tourism industry, which contributes 8.7% of GDP, will not fully recover until 2023, predicted Miguel Torruco, head of the Ministry of Tourism (Sectur).
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“It has to happen this year and next year, with a lot of effort, so that by 2023 tourism can be somewhat normalized, it will again quite successful, but not yet, it will time to see the same levels that we had at the end of 2019″ Torruco warned.
In 2019, Mexico was one of the 10 most visited countries in the world, receiving more than 45 million international tourists with an economic spill of $24.5 billion USD, an annual growth of 9%, the secretary explained.
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%, he explained, with figures “even more delicate” for the second quarter.
For this reason, Torruco presented this week the “National Guideline for the Reopening of the Tourism Sector”, which establishes the measures of personal hygiene, the environment, and healthy distancing for the “new normal” that will start nationwide on June 1.
“We have already managed to standardize the protocol, which is most important due to the problems we are experiencing, of guidelines for the gradual opening of tourist centers ,” he explained.
Although the federal official avoided forecasts, the Association of Secretaries of Tourism of Mexico (Asetur) has estimated that tourism GDP will fall 10% this year, with losses of more than $10 billion USD.
The Government will initiate the “Let’s Travel through Mexico” crusade, which will invite tourists to visit Mexico destinations and consume handicrafts, which represent 18.8% of cultural GDP.
“All the countries that are suffering from this COVID-19 pandemic today are, of course, marching on the same path, that is, exhorting the population that, as soon as the prohibitions or sanitary issues are lifted, the first thing they should do, before going to another country, is to travel through their homeland,” he argued.
Another measure is the rectification of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who had proposed eliminating long weekend holidays so that children learn about historical dates instead of taking time off.
In the three main long weekends, Torruco described, lodging rises up to 8%, there are 5 million more tourists, of which 2 million are staying in hotels, and there is a spill of $38.4 billion pesos.
“You have to promote domestic tourism to have a relief and then start to open more borders as health problems are overcome,” said the head of Sectur.
However, Mexico never restricted international flights in the almost three months of COVID-19 in the country, which accumulates 62,527 cases and 6,989 deaths from the disease.
The government will carry out its first Digital Tourism Tianguis in September, estimating that from now on 70% of the transactions in the sector will be made online, compared to 58% previously.
Meanwhile, the fair of the 121 Magical Towns of the country will be held from November 26 to 29 in San Luis Potosí, and the face-to-face Tourist Tianguis will be held from March 21 to March 24, 2021, in Yucatan.
The secretary stressed that Mexico is one of the top five destinations travelers from Canada and the United States have in mind for after the pandemic, according to the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).
Torruco recalled that the United States and Spain are the main foreign investors in tourism infrastructure.
“Spanish investment is very important to us, especially in southeastern Mexico, in Quintana Roo, Cancún, Playa del Carmen, there is considerable investment and new good projects from all the hotel chains that are part of the team of promoters of our country ”, he stated.