SourceMex focuses on Mexican economic and political issues such as trade and investment, agriculture, elections, the petroleum industry, environment and sustainability, human rights, and social issues. It also places particular emphasis on developments and analysis of U.S.-Mexico relations, including matters related to the U.S.-Mexico border.
Current IssueMexican Tourism Sector Turns in Solid Performance in 2016
A favorable exchange rate contributed to a significant increase in the number of foreign visitors to Mexico during 2016, but increased marketing and promotion, development of tourism infrastructure, and other factors also helped attract a stream of international tourists to Mexico. The tourism ministry (Secretaría de Turismo, SECTUR) said 35 million foreign tourists visited Mexico in 2016, compared with 32.1 million in 2015. The revenues from international tourism amounted to about US$20 billion, an increase of almost 11% from the previous year. The UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) ranked Mexico as the eighth most popular country for foreign visitors in 2016, compared with ninth place in 2015. Analysts said the growth in numbers and revenues are an indication of the strong health of the Mexican tourism industry, which is one of the top three sources of foreign exchange for Mexico, along with oil exports and remittances from expatriates in the US.“In terms of revenues, this was another double-digit increase,” financial columnist Carlos Velázquez wrote in the daily newspaper Excélsior. “This is the seventh consecutive year of positive results following a disastrous 2009.”Expatriates Sent Record Amount of Remittances to Mexico in 2016
Policies on immigration recently enacted or proposed by US President Donald Trump and his allies in Congress are beginning to have a major effect on remittances to Mexico from Mexican expatriates. Trump, who won election in November 2016, has threatened to tax remittances as a way to finance the construction or expansion of a huge barrier along the US-Mexico border, which he said would discourage undocumented immigrants from crossing into the US. Trump frequently mentioned a tax on remittances during his presidential campaign, and his election resulted in an avalanche of money transfers to Mexico by expatriates during November and December. Because of this, remittances rose by nearly 25% in November and by 6.2% in December, bringing the total for 2016 to a record US$26.9 billion, the Mexican Central Bank (Banco de México, BANXICO) reported. The remittances involved almost 92 million money transfers, with the average remittance estimated at US$295, a slight increase from 2015, BANXICO reported. More than 95% of the funds were sent from the US, and slightly more than 1% from Canada. The previous record was set in 2007, with expatriates sending back just over US$26 billion. The total that year surpassed estimates indicating that remittances would reach US$25 billion