According to published reports, if President Felipe Calderon signs the bill into law that was approved last week by Congress, Mexico will charge a $5 per capita landing fee to all foreign visitors calling in Mexican ports starting next year.
Six million tourists on cruise vessels visited Mexico this past year, and according to official estimates each visitor spends an average of $85 a day. However, the overall income from the visiting cruise industry in Mexico (visitors' spending, vessels' duties, supplies and others) totals more than $565 million annually, reports the country’s Tourist Secretariat. However, the initiative was criticized by the industry, most of which has its headquarters in Florida. The tax, in the middle of the federal budget discussions, was approved by 374 votes and six abstentions. The income collected would be split among the local governments of the port cities, which would be given 80 percent with the rest going to the Migration Institute.