A tourist couple takes a picture on the beach in Cancun (Quintana Roo, Mexico), on April 1, Teresa de Miguel
Mexico has not managed to overcome its visitor numbers despite being a tourist attraction in the midst of a pandemic.
The entries to the country were reduced by 58% compared to last February, according to the figures published this Monday by the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (Inegi).
Consequently, the income left by foreign visitors fell 66.1% compared to the same month of the previous year.
In total, the visitors that entered Mexico during February were 3.4 million, of which 1.5 million were international tourists.
In the same month of 2020 that figure exceeded the eight million tourists who visited the country attracted by its white sand beaches, its gastronomy and its archaeological attractions.
The loss of almost 60% of tourism in the last year translates into 66% less income, although the average expenditure per visitor increased by 0.5%.
Most enter Mexico by air.
The Inegi has registered that four out of every five tourists arrived by plane, while the rest did so by car.
During February, there were no hikers visiting the country aboard a cruise ship.
Since the outbreak of the pandemic in March 2020, Mexico has seen its tourism decrease by millions of visitors.
Before the health crisis, the country had managed to reach figures of 9.3 million international tourists in a single month, as happened in December 2019. Four months later, that number would drop to 2.2 million visitors.
In the following months, Mexico had maintained that catastrophic figure until in December it rebounded again and achieved 4.4 million income to the country from tourism.
However, it closed the year with a balance of 20 million fewer foreign tourists, according to data from the National Tourism Business Council (CNET).
The year 2020 represented a 46% drop in visits compared to 2019. That collapse meant a revenue drain of $ 13 billion.
However, Mexico has managed to maintain the flow of tourists compared to other countries that have strict confinement and border closure measures.
Mexico became the third most visited country in the world in 2020 despite its tourism figures and better copes with the economic crisis derived from the closure of borders compared to other giants.
The non-existence of requirements to cross the border such as the lack of need for a negative PCR test, nor a quarantine period or just cause to enter the country have turned Mexico into an oasis for vacations in the world.
In Spain, for example, the loss of tourism accounted for 77% in 2020 compared to the previous year, when the country chained seven years improving its record.
Tourism closes its worst year in half a century due to the pandemic
The latest data from Inegi do not include the figures recorded during Holy Week, when several Mexican beaches became the media focus for being overrun with bathers and for the festive atmosphere when the coronavirus has already claimed the lives of more than 200,000 people in Mexico.
Hotel occupancy in Cancun, in Quintana Roo, was around 70%, according to figures from the Cancun Hoteliers Association, while the state government expected to receive 665,000 visits.
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