Federal government will invest $14 billion USD in the industry during the next four years
Cancún, Quintana Roo -
While analysts continue to deliver widely divergent opinions on how much Mexico's shaky economy will grow this year, with forecasts changing weekly, the president of the Republic is focused on an economic mainstay: tourism, including the medical variety.
Speaking to businessmen from 60 nations this afternoon in Cancún, Enrique Peña Nieto said that Mexico is well positioned to become a world tourism powerhouse. He promised that the Institutional Revolutionary Party administration would invest 180 billion pesos in the industry during his term in office, the equivalent of almost $14 billion dollars.
The money will be spent on airport, seaport and highway upgrades, the recovery of eroded beaches, the rehabilitation of historical centers in Mexico's colonial cities, new convention centers and public parks and other general infrastructure improvements.
In 2013 Mexico received 23.7 million visitors from abroad, who pumped an estimated $13.8 billion USD into the domestic economy. Mexican tourism up in 2013, government reports. Both numbers were records, and clearly indicate a strong rebound of the industry.
"From Jan 1. through Feb. 28, our country welcomed 4.5 million tourists from abroad. The amazing thing is that number exceeds by more than 15% the tourists who visited us during the same period in 2013, which was itself a record breaking year," noted Peña Nieto today.
The president said he wants to apply the Riviera Maya business model to other locations throughout Mexico, including ones little known, to replicate the Caribbean coast's success.
"Consolidating Mexico into a world class tourist destination is a firm commitment of the federal government," Peña Nieto told his audience. "Our nation has much to offer, and every day we are better prepared to receive travelers who want to come and enjoy Mexico."
"Tourism is key strategic sector on which Mexico's economic growth depends," added the president. "It generates employment and investment. Its contribution to the development of our nation and the well being of our people makes it critical for the transformation of our country."
Peña Nieto said that tourism employs about 3.1 million Mexicans, and generates more than 8% of the nation's gross domestic product (GDP/PIB).
In February the government reported that Mexico is second in the world in medical tourism, and earned almost three billion dollars from the industry in 2013. Peña Nieto focused on that sector as well in his remarks today.
While many parts of Mexico remain under U.S. and foreign travel warnings as the 89 month old drug war rages on, the industry has greatly improved after hitting a low water mark in 2011. 65% of Mexico declared "off limits" to foreign travelers by western nations.
Sept. 1 - Despite U.S. warnings, Mexican tourism is posting record results
Aug. 16 - State's latest warning about Mexican travel risks angers Peña Nieto administration
May 4 - Chapala records 4th murder of foreign resident in 2014
Mar. 21 - Yucatán prosecutor confirms: remains found are those of missing Ukrainian tourist
Mar. 4 - American spring breaker murdered in Cancún
Feb. 28 - U.S. security consultant warns spring breakers about prime Mexican resorts
July 15 - Cancún and Quintana Roo are not under a U.S. advisory, but maybe they should be
Feb. 1 - Yucatán safety continues to be subject of hot debate
Jan. 22 - Puerto Vallarta: tensions linger after brazen narco attack
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