This article was written by Gay Nagle Myers and has been re-posted from Travel Weekly.
Tourism officials in Mexico’s resort destinations of Cancun, Cozumel and the Riviera Maya on the Mexican Caribbean coast and in Puerto Vallarta and Acapulco on the Pacific coast reported that holiday traffic was up from a year ago.
Acapulco Mayor Jose Luis Avila Sanchez said hotels in that city were nearly full over the Christmas-New Year period.
Cancun’s hotel occupancy rate was running at 77% in December, compared with 51% at the same time last year, according to Rodrigo de la Pena Segura, president of the city’s hotel association. Segura said that the holiday period was expected to top out at 85% occupancy.
For all of Mexico, the number of foreign visitors and domestic travelers was expected to total 16.1 million throughout the month of December.
Tourism revenue in Mexico’s resort areas increased 7.1% from January through October 2010, compared with the same months in 2009, according to the Mexican Tourism Ministry. Total visitor spending for that 10-month stretch amounted to $9.8 billion, helped in part by numerous low-cost tropical packages flooding the marketplace.
“Safety is a problem only in some parts of Mexico, and crime has not affected the major tourist areas of the country,” said Miguel Torruco Marques, president of the National Tourism Confederation. The NTC projected that the overall visitor count for 2010 would total 22.4 million foreigners, a 4.7% jump from 2009.
American Express reported that air travel to Mexico grew 6% in 2010 compared with 2009.