In the first half of 2023, international travel to Mexico increased by 7.2% compared to the same period in 2019, before the pandemic.
Mexico welcomed 10.8 million foreign visitors at international airports from January through June 2023, up from 10.1 million in 2019 an increase of 700,000, according to Tourism Minister Miguel Torruco Marqués.
The fact that this year’s total is 5.8% higher than the 10.2 million foreign visitors that reached the country by air from January to June 2022 indicates that tourism in Mexico has been steadily increasing since the full removal of pandemic restrictions in 2022.
So far this year, Mexico has received the most tourists from the following three countries, United States (6.5 million tourists), Canada (1.3 million) and Colombia (361,000).
8.3 million visitors came from these three nations collectively, a 13.9% increase over the number of travelers from those nations in 2019.
The busiest airports in the country so far in 2023 for foreign travel are Cancún International Airport, with 4.8 million arrivals, Mexico City International Airport (AICM), with 1.9 million and Los Cabos International Airport, with 1.2 million arrivals.
8.7 million international travelers arrived at the three airports in total, up 4.4% from 2019.
A total of 2.7 million travelers passed via other airports in Mexico, exceeding the 2022 figures by 18.3% in the same period.
The total number of international arrivals in Mexico, which includes land crossings and cruises, is still almost 2 million lower than it was in 2019, despite more tourists arriving by air.
For the first half of 2023, data on average spending by long-term visitors who arrived by air were not yet available. However, according to the Ministry of Tourism, average spending in the U.S. between January and April 2023 was $10.7 billion, up 17% from 2022.
Mexico is now the sixth most visited country in the world. This means that it has fallen four places from 2021, when it was the second most visited country in the world behind France, according to a United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) study published earlier this year.
The UNWTO reports that while overall tourism has recovered dramatically worldwide, it is still down 20% in the first quarter of 2023 compared to the same period in 2019.