Last week, we published a post speculating about an interesting trend in tourism to Mexico. The theory goes something like this: The negative/slanted media coverage of Mexico pouring out of the US is hurting the Mexican Tourism industry, which has caused the industry to lower prices and offer enticing deals. These deals are being eaten up by international travelers from outside the US, causing an overall rise in tourism to Mexico. A recent press release from the Mexican Government seems to be adding validity to theory, predicting Russian tourism to Mexico to increase by 400% in 2012.
2010 saw 27,137 travelers from Russia, which was an increase of 134% increase from 2009. From Jan. to April of this year, Mexico has already welcomed more than 14,000 Russians, which is a 64% increase from the same time period in 2010. Taras Kobishchanov, the President of the Association of Tour Operators of Russia, said that not only is Russian tourism to Mexico expected to explode in 2012 but that if this trend of growth continues, Mexico could be seeing about 500,000 yearly visitors from Russia by 2018!
Even more interesting (and important for Mexico) is that the average group of Russian travelers spends about 10 days in Mexico, whereas US travelers usually stay for only 4.5 days per trip. In addition, Russian groups spend an average of $1,000 dollars a day during their travels in Mexico.
According to the press release, “The most attractive destinations for Russian tourists are: Cancun-Riviera Maya (64.8 percent), the Federal District (29.7 percent), Puerto Vallarta (1.7 percent) and Los Cabos (1.6 percent).”
Russian travel agencies have reported that the Mundo Maya program and the approach of 2012 have sparked great interest among their clients. To capitalize on this interest, the international airline Aeroflot has announced that they will begin new flights to Mexico beginning October 3rd.
Needless to say, this new influx in Russian travelers is great news for Mexico as the country continues its march towards the Top Five International Travel Destinations in the World.