A record 41.4 million international tourists came to Mexico last year, 5.5% more than in 2017, and they spent more while they were in the country.
The Secretariat of Tourism (Sectur) said in a statement that 41,447,000 foreign tourists visited Mexico in 2018 compared to 39.3 million the year before.
The tourists spent just over US $20.3 billion while here, 6% more than in 2017. Each international tourist spent on average US $490 in the country.
The top 10 source countries for tourists who arrived by air were the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Colombia, Argentina, Brazil, Spain, Germany, France and Peru.
Once daytrippers from the three countries with which Mexico shares a border are added, a total of just under 96.8 million foreign visitors entered the country last year.
That figure represents a 2.6% decline on total visitor numbers in 2017, according to data from the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (Inegi).
The 55.3 million daytrippers spent just under US $2.2 billion or an average of $39 each, taking total tourism expenditure to just over $22.5 billion, 5.5% more than 2017.
For this year, Sectur predicts that international numbers could hit 43.6 million, which would represent a 5.2% increase on last year’s figures. Total tourism expenditure is forecast to reach jut under US $23.7 billion, which would also be 5.2% higher than in 2018.
Tourism Secretary Miguel Torruco Marqués described the outlook in both areas as positive.
Earlier this month, Torruco said that the government is aiming to increase expenditure by tourists in Mexico by focusing more on attracting big spenders.
Among the nationalities that spend the most while visiting Mexico, the Japanese were in first place, spending an average of $2,008, not including airfare.
However, in terms of visitor numbers, Japan was only in 17th place with 140,363 visitors.