Stats: Mexico Eighth-Most Visited Country in 2016

A high view over Puerto Vallarta Bay
Puerto Vallarta // Photo by opimages/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

The UNWTO has released its World Tourism Barometer, which includes its annual ranking of the most visited countries in the world. Mexico climbed up to the eighth most visited country for 2016, as a result of receiving more than 35 million international visitors and achieving a growth rate of nine percent, twice the global industry average. Mexico’s ranking increase, from 15th in the world in 2013 to 8th last year, is the largest of any of the top 25 most visited countries.

Since 2013, Mexico’s international tourism has grown at an annual average of 10 percent, double the global industry average. Multiple factors could have contributed to the increase in visitors; among them: Mexico’s biodiversity, nature and adventure, gastronomy, luxury, high-profile events like F1, cultural traditions such as Day of the Dead, and the weddings, romance, meetings and events segments.

The government of Mexico, Minister of Tourism Enrique de la Madrid, and the tourism industry have worked closely to create a strategic, long-term plan to continue to grow the diversity of Mexico’s tourism offerings. The country’s goal is to achieve 50 million international visitors by 2021. The results of new partnerships with airlines, hotels, and tour operators can be seen in continued growth so far in 2017, and they will be relied on heavily to meet the goal of 50 million visitors. The number of seats on international direct flights to Mexico has already increased by more than two million compared to 2016.

Recently, Mexico has also been recognized by the John Mason survey of expatriates in 191 countries as the most welcoming in the world for the third year in a row.

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