Mexico sets a new record of cruise tourists, but something that is right
Mexico captured a new record of cruise passengers during 2018, reporting more than eight million passengers, according to preliminary figures. Until the end of November, the main ports of the country had received 7.4 million cruise tourists, according to the Inegi data.
In total, the country received two thousand 668 boats, of which, thousand 297 were captured by Cozumel, the main port of the country and the Caribbean. The volume of cruise ships that arrived in Mexico was 4.3% higher than those captured in 2017. The Caribbean-Gulf area received 1,821 ships, 7.0% more than a year before it captured 1,702, while the Pacific area had a 1.1% retracement.
The port of Cabo San Lucas showed a contraction of 2.8%, the same as Puerto Vallarta, with a fall of 5.5 percent. Others, such as La Paz or Mazatlán, had increases of 2.9% and 12.5%, respectively, according to preliminary data from the General Coordination of Ports and Merchant Marine.
Given the drop in the number of ships, the aforementioned ports also showed an increase in passenger volume. The data shows that in the case of Los Cabos the increase was 10.2%, while La Paz increased 2.9% and Mazatlan 12.5%.
Despite being one of the segments that most foreign visitors to Mexico, which is the sixth most visited country on a global scale, this type of traveler contributes only 2.0% of the total spill that enters the country, according to data from the Secretariat of Tourism.
In this regard, Jorge Hernández, president of the Mexican Federation of Tourist Associations (Fematur) and president of the Mexican Association of Travel Agencies (AMAV), explained that cruise tourism has always been a controversial issue in the sector because the volume of travelers is significant, but they leave little economic income.
"We have proposed to find a way to sell packages that promote overnight, food and tour options in the destination because if not hikers only go down, make some purchases and leave."
According to data from the Ministry of Tourism, of the total income from tourism that took place in Mexico in 2017, which reached 21.3 billion dollars, only 10% came from hikers, the majority of spending by the border.
The National Tourism Business Council (CNET) has indicated, for example, that it would be necessary for Mexico to charge a tax on cruise passengers to increase the income of this segment, in addition to this practice being carried out by other destinations in the Caribbean, as well as identifying the areas of opportunity to increase average spending.
Currently, the country is located on the 15th global scale in foreign exchange earnings for international tourism and, according to Miguel Torruco, current secretary of Tourism, the goal of this administration will be for the country to enter the list of the first ten. Hernandez said that in the next meeting that tourist agencies have with the head of the SECTUR, they will be asked to review the situation.