It would be a 33% drop compared to the record of 45 million foreign travelers in 2019, prior to COVID.
Miguel Torruco, Mexico’s Secretary of Tourism, anticipated that this year they expect to receive just over 30 million international tourists, which would mean a 33 percent drop compared to the 45 million foreign travelers who arrived in the country in 2019, before the pandemic; although 22 percent better compared to last year, when the coronavirus hit the sector hard.
“No (the forecasts are not optimistic). The expectations are based on the growth, reservations and expectations of airlines; There are several points where the calculations are made for the expectations that one is expecting, as we have said in previous years and they always more or less end with the forecasts that we say, ”said Torruco.
The tourism industry has been one of the worst performers in the previous year due to the multiple restrictions that various countries imposed on their citizens, which is why the flow of international travelers to Mexico decreased 46 percent annually in 2020.
Brian Rodríguez, an analyst in the air sector for Monex Casa de Bolsa, anticipated that during the second half of the year, international travel restrictions will begin to decrease, so that passenger traffic will have less pressure to recover.
“Towards the second semester, we expect a lower level of restrictions worldwide, which could be a catalyst for Mexican airlines, which at the moment have a greater participation towards travel in the United States,” said Rodríguez.
The Center for Research and Tourism Competitiveness (Cicotur) of the Anahuac University pointed out that, in the first four months of the year, the three most important airports in international passenger traffic had a drop of 52.4 percent compared to 2019.
Together, Cancun, Los Cabos and Puerto Vallarta receive six out of every 10 international travelers in Mexico and, in April, they reported an influx of 1.4 million foreign passengers.
“That figure exceeds, by far, that of the same period of 2020, but it is 36.7 percent lower than that of 2019,” explained the center directed by Francisco Madrid Flores.
Despite this, Mexico is one of the countries with the best recovery of international travelers, especially in comparison with the Latin American nations, which have registered multiple travel requirements that inhibit demand.
Rafael Echevarne, general director of the Airports Council International (ACI) for Latin America, said that Mexico has a predominant role in the international airline industry because it has never closed its borders.
“The good thing about Mexico is that connectivity with the United States has not been interrupted, that is tremendous luck, and Mexico, being the most liberal country in the world from the point of view of not having closed, will be a total support for the recovery of the airline industry and tourism, “said Echevarne.
He added that Mexico can become an international connection center if it takes advantage of the policy of non-closure of borders that it has maintained throughout the pandemic.
“Mexico has the opportunity to position itself and take leadership in ensuring that there is coordination with the countries,” he added.
Volaris and Aeroméxico, below 2019 levels
Mexican airlines with international routes are still far from the levels registered in the pandemic in terms of foreign passengers.
Between January and April, Volaris, led by Enrique Beltranena, recorded a 25 percent drop in the number of international travelers transported compared to the same period in 2019, and a decline of almost 9 percent when compared to the first four-month period. from last year.
Aeroméxico, one of the main airlines in terms of international traffic in Mexico, is still far from mobilizing the 2.5 million travelers it accumulated in January-April 2019. In the first four months of this year, the ‘Caballero Águila’ mobilized 868 thousand passengers on routes abroad, a figure 65.4 percent below that reported in the same period prior to the pandemic.
Viva Aerobus is the only airline that registers a positive behavior in the figures for the first four months of this year against those of 2019, having an increase of 11.2 percent in terms of travelers. Even though the airline is focused on the domestic market, it has begun to open new routes to the United States, the main source market for tourists to Mexico.
Mexico Daily Post