Air travel to Mexico up 35% in June

MEXICO The number of international tourists reaching Mexico by air grew by 35.2% increase in June compared with the same month last year, according to the Mexican Tourism Board. 

During the month, 818,000 tourists from different nationalities visited Mexico, versus 605,000 who visited in June 2009. Of those, some 573,000 travelers arrived by air from the United States, representing a 23.7% growth over June 2009. Perhaps more significant are the 41,000 visitors from Canada—double the 21,000 Canadians who visited a year ago.

“We feel these numbers are evidence of the strength and quality of Mexico’s destinations,” says Gloria Guevara Manzo, Mexico’s secretary of tourism. “Despite all that’s going on in the world today, the traveler knows he or she can come to Mexico and find unique vacation experiences offering not only our famous sun and beach destinations, but the chance for archeological, culinary and artistic experiences as well. Mexico is the only place on the earth where you can experience all that in a single trip.” 

This increased demand for Mexico by U.S. travelers is reflected by several new commercial flights. AeroMexico, Mexico’s largest transcontinental airline, began Monterrey to Miami service in June and a Monterrey to Houston route in July.

The airline also included summer service between high-demand routes, such as Mexico City to Miami, New York, Orlando and San Antonio; Merida to Miami; Monterrey to San Antonio; Los Angeles to Aguascalientes and Bajio; and Chicago to Durango and Guadalajara. In November, British Airways is slated to begin operating the only direct flight between London and Cancun. Meanwhile, China’s Hainan Airlines will begin flying directly to Mexico City. Other airlines such as US Airways and Frontier Airlines have also created new routes to Mexico, such as US Airways’ Charlotte to Los Cabos and Charlotte to Puerto Vallarta; and Frontier’s San Francisco to Los Cabos; San Francisco to Cancun; and Los Angeles to Cancun. Virgin America has announced its intent to launch new nonstop services from San Francisco to Los Cabos and Cancun, as well as from Los Angeles to Cancun.

The number of available hotel guestrooms in Mexico has also lately increased, expanding 4.6% during the first half of this year compared to the same period in 2009. Most destinations monitored by the tourism board added inventory this year, with only 14 of 70 destinations decreasing in room count. In all, a net of 13,525 guestrooms were added to Mexico’s inventory in the first half, totaling 310,391 guestrooms throughout the country.