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Legislative Report: Lack of Security Affects Tourism

By: Staff | Real Acapulco News - 20 June, 2011

(Mexico City, AN 20 June) The Chamber of Deputies of Mexico’s legislature has officially recognized something that everyone in Acapulco has known for a long time: the reports of organized crime violence have pummeled the tourism industry in Mexico, even though most tourist areas remain relatively untouched by criminal activities.

The study notes that during the first quarter of 2011, tourists spent almost 10 percent less than in the same period in 2010. This represents a decline of $350 million in direct expenditures in just one quarter. (The first quarter is considered to be “high season” for international tourism.) The year 2008 was a banner year, before the country was slammed by the international financial crisis, the flu epidemic and the image of gang violence. In that year $13.3 billion dollars were spent directly by international tourists in Mexico.
The study by the chamber’s Public Finance Research Center attributes the decline to the “economic and social phenomenon that tourism is vulnerable to a perception of insecurity, whether for reasons of health or personal safety.” The balance of payments situation is further complicated by the fact that more and more Mexican nationals are choosing to vacation abroad instead of staying in Mexican resorts, presumably for the same reasons.

Tourism along the border with the United States was most heavily affected, dropping by almost half a million dollars for the first quarter of the year. Tourists who are day visitors to Mexico (known as “excursionists”) dropped off by the greatest percentage, mainly in Tijuana and Ciudad Júarez. Other factors, like the long lines to cross the border, also had an impact on this market segment.

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