Even optimistic scenario for tourism this year is 26% fewer visitors than 2019

Published on : Thursday, January 21, 2021

The arrival of international tourists will increase by 33.7 per cent in 2021 compared to last year in a best-case scenario, according to the federal Tourism Ministry (Sectur) of Mexico, but even if that upturn is achieved tourism would still be well below 2019 levels.

According to Sectur’s most optimistic projection, 33.1 million international tourists will come to Mexico this year, 8.3 million more than in 2020 when tourism slumped due to the coronavirus pandemic.

However, 33.1 million visitors would be 26 per cent lower than the record 45 million international tourists who travelled to Mexico in 2019.

In a “conservative” scenario, 30.4 million international tourists will visit Mexico this year, Sectur said in a statement Monday, while in a “pessimistic” scenario the figure will be 25.2 million.

The figure for the latter would represent a 1.5 per cent increase compared to 2020 but a 44 per cent decline compared to 2019.

Sectur said that whether an optimistic, conservative or pessimistic scenario unfolds will depend on the evolution of the coronavirus pandemic around the world as well as progress in the application of Covid-19 vaccines, “which has already begun in our country and the main markets for tourists to Mexico.”

Spending by international tourists while in Mexico is predicted to be US $16 billion in 2021 in the best scenario, which would be an increase of 42 per cent or $4.7 billion compared to 2020. However, that level of expenditure would represent a decrease of about 35 per cent compared to 2019 when international tourists spent $24.8 billion here.

In a conservative scenario, international tourists will spend $14.4 billion in 2021 while in a pessimistic one the outlay will be $11.5 billion, Sectur said.
The Tourism Ministry predicted that average hotel occupancy across 70 Mexican destinations will be 56.6 per cent in 2021 in an optimistic scenario.

That would be 4.7 per cent lower than the average in 2019. In a conservative scenario, average occupancy will be 50.9 per cent, 10.4 per cent lower than in 2019, Sectur said, while in a pessimistic scenario, hotels will be 46.1 per cent full, a decline of 15.2 per cent.

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