MEXICO CITY, Feb. 14, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- SECTUR, The Mexican Ministry of Tourism revealed that 2011 was a record breaking year for tourism. 22.67 million international travelers visited Mexico in 2011; this represents an increase of 2 percent on 2010, a 5.7 percent increase on 2009, and a 0.2 percent increase on 2008 – historically Mexico's best year for international tourism.
"We are overjoyed that Mexico has broken our longstanding record with regard to international visitation," said Rodolfo Lopez-Negrete, Chief Operating Officer of the Mexico Tourism Board, "these figures clearly demonstrate that the bold diversification strategy we have implemented, promoting a broad tourism offering and targeting an expanded breed of global consumer, is succeeding."
Following efforts to attract a more diverse cohort of tourists from a range of international markets, Mexico saw in a significant increase in visitor numbers compared to 2010 from Brazil (66 percent), Russia (55 percent), China (30 percent), Colombia (23.2 percent), Italy (13 percent), Australia (13 percent) United Kingdom (11.6 percent), France (10 percent), Japan (9.3 percent) and Canada (7 percent).
Mexico remains the most popular international destination for U.S. tourists. The economic environment in the U.S. translated to fewer Americans traveling abroad in 2011; according to the Department of Commerce international air travel from the U.S. declined 4.1 percent in 2011. Mexico, however increased its market share in the US from 14.1 to 15 percent.
A key focus for the Mexico Tourism Board in 2012 will also be to capitalize on, celebrate and promote the start of the new Mayan calendar, promoting travel to the five state which comprise the Mayan World - specifically Quintana Roo, Campeche, Tabasco, Chiapas and the Yucatan.
"Building off an exceptionally strong 2011 we are confident that 2012 will be another record breaking year, particularly in light of the upcoming campaign to promote Mundo Maya."
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SOURCE SECTUR, The Mexican Ministry of Tourism