Published on : Thursday, February 11, 2021
Canada’s three-month suspension of flights to Mexico is expected to create further problems for the ailing Mexican tourism industry, which suffered its worst year in 2020 due to the corona virus pandemic and related restrictions.
The suspension of flights from Canada, which is Mexico’s second largest source country for tourists after the United States, will have a significant impact on the country’s tourism sector.
According to the Ministry of Communications and Transportation (SCT), 3.67 million air travelers from Canada visited Mexico in 2019, an average of about 306,000 per month. However, due to the pandemic, the number dropped 50.6% in 2020 to 1.81 million, an average of about 151,000 Canadian tourists per month.
Mexican Tourism Minister Miguel Torruco said that there could be up to 791,000 fewer tourists due to the corona virus prevention measures announced by the Canadian government, which is inclusive of compulsory hotel quarantine for people entering Canada. The minister added that tourism sector revenue could drop by US $782 million.
The flight suspension will affect the most popular month for travel to Mexico from Canada as well as the fourth and fifth most popular months.
Four of the five Mexican destinations expected to be most affected are the coastal resort cities. Cancún, Quintana Roo, received more than 331,000 passengers from Canadian cities last year, marking a 63% decline compared to 2019. The Mexico City airport ranked second with more than 180,000.
The third most popular destination was Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, where almost 134,000 travelers visited in 2020. Los Cabos, Baja California Sur, ranked fourth with more than 53,000 travelers from Canada, while Huatuclo, Oaxaca, ranked fifth with 19,500 Canadian visitors.
Torruco said that Mexico is expected to lose hundreds of millions of dollars of tourism revenue during the three-month flight suspension.