Cementing its status as a tourist-friendly country in spite of Omicron, Mexico is now one of the most visited destinations on the planet and is on track to become a world favorite this year.
Unlike most nations in the old continent or the US itself, which remained off-limits to foreign arrivals for well over a year, Mexico flung the doors open and required very few, if anything at all, of inbound travelers.
As it turns out, the unusual Mexican approach to crisis seems to have paid off.
Open Border Policy Boosts Traveler Confidence And Proves Crucial To Mexico’s Recovery
In a year when nations, more commonly than not, shut down entirely and further hindered the recovery of an already heavily-impacted aviation sector, Mexico managed to reach 95% of its pre-pandemic passenger levels.
The country posted an extraordinary 31 million international arrivals in 2021, or 28.1% more than the same period in 2020. Simultaneously, several other countries registered downward trends in the aviation sector, especially across the pond.
To draw a comparison, the UK closed 2021 with 71% less international flights than in 2019, the year before the virus emerged. This goes to show that, when it comes to boosting traveler confidence, any restrictive measures imposed on visitors do matter.
Recently, all four UK nations have recently announced an extensive array of measures aimed at halting the spread of Omicron, and ones that are sure to impact U.S. and Canada passport holders flying to Britain.
Mexico, on the other hand, has yet to announce a single Omicron-related change, with American cruises still permitted to dock at Mexican ports even when outbreaks are reported among crew.
Mexico The Top Tourist Destination In 2022?
Following such impressive figures, Tourism Secretary Miguel Torruco stated that Mexico’s tourism sector is experiencing a “strong recovery”, and that the vaccine roll out has played an important part in achieving those numbers.
According to data shared by Mexico’s Federal Agency (dependencia federal) tourism comprised 7.1% of Mexico’s GDP in 2021, up from 6.7% in 2020. Additionally, it is now expected to account for 8.3% of Mexico’s economy in the months to come.
Domestically, intercity travel has also re-bounced from its 2020 lows. In the first 11 months of 2021, Mexico experienced a pronounced increase of 58.2% in domestic travelers.
Drawing attention to the American participation in Mexico’s aviation recovery, Torruco noted that, in October 2021, American Airlines transported 21.2% more passengers compared to October 2020, with United Airlines also reporting a 12.7% increase.
With today’s trends, the Mayan homeland is already one of the top tourist destinations in the world, and could be on course to claim the number one spot in the pandemic era.
If current arrival numbers are anything to go by, the chances of Mexico snatching that crown are substantial.
What Does Mexico’s Strong Tourism Recovery Mean For Americans Visiting?
Americans flying to Cancun for a beach break, or hoping to stroll the charming streets of Puerto Vallarta on a cruise stopover this season should welcome the news that the US market is markedly important for Mexico’s tourism recovery.
As a result, Mexico has no plans of shutting down to Americans anytime soon. With direct flights between major US and Mexican cities, connectivity between the neighboring nations is set to be strengthened in a world where other countries make it more difficult for Americans to visit.
As a matter of fact, booked seats on airlines flying to Mexico in 2022 have already surpassed pre-pandemic figures by by 22.5%, proving the spread of Omicron does not seem to be diverting most travelers.
Tourism Secretary Torruco again highlighted that, between January and December of this year, 190,513 flights are already scheduled to land in Mexico, meaning bookings are still going strong in spite of Covid fears.
Currently, no PCR testing, vaccination proof, or mandatory quarantine are expected of travelers arriving in Mexico, although most are still required to fill out a Health Declaration Form before boarding their flight.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com
Sunday 9th of January 2022
Question: some (American) travelers warned me that if you don't have your hotels booked upfront you might only get a visa for a 7 day stay in Mexico. That's a joke right? I hope that doesn't count for Europeans... we're planning to travel in Mexico for two months and it's ridiculous if we have to book hotels in advance for at least two weeks... we'll be backpacking and couchsurfing most of the time, without a plan. (Obviously we have a return ticket and a hotel for the first and last couple of nights in the country) If this is all true then I prefer going to a country where they 'only' require a PCR test for entry :-(. Anyone that knows more about this? Thanks!
Thursday 13th of January 2022
@Elisa, show them the RETURN TICKET.look like you can aford 2 or 3months stay. IGOT 160 DAYS return ticket to europe 2 may.Have 2 nights reservation.will work fine....
Thursday 6th of January 2022
i been in Mexico for the last year i am love it ... sadly thought because Mexico is not playing into the media's agenda they will start attacking it soon...with outrages covid cases and calms
Wednesday 5th of January 2022
My family returned from PVR on Sunday. Facts are that to travel on any plane within or from Canada, you have to be double-vaxed. On top of that, you must take a PCR test to return to Canada and are re-tested randomly upon return to Canada. If anything is safe, it's getting on a plane in Canada, lol. That said, the difference between Canada and the USA is that most Canadians do their part in preventing the spread and don't make it political or conspiracy based. However, I will agree that Omnicron is not something we need to shut down travel or businesses over. It's time to move on. Let those who refuse to be vaccinated fend for themselves and the rest of us live. Mexico is doing what must be done to survive. Tourism is too important to shut down. The residents and employees get vaccinated and wear masks despite the ignorance of some of the tourists. I am not alone in getting tired of going into a third year of the over-protectionist passion of some governments. Covid 19 was dangerous...we found vaccinations and now treatments for it. Let us live and put some of the attention and funding towards true killers like cancer.
Monday 17th of January 2022
@Paul, I'm canadian and I agree with you. The fact he says canadians are doing their part just means he doesn't understand that canadians are mindless and gutless and do what they are told. I've known this for a very long time and it became more apparent after traveling the globe and I hate it here and I'm stuck here with these fools. He also believes vaccines work...ask all the people who are double and tripled vax how they are feeling after most of them have been sick with the very disease its suppose to prevent and then there's all the injection injured...oh and now all those same people can't even go into a restaurant because that's been shut down again. You can go to Mexico with your shots but you can't eat in a restaurant in your own town? People are daft.
Wednesday 5th of January 2022
@Stephen Gamble, You say "I am not alone in getting tired of going into a third year" If more people stood up against the oppression of over reaching government powers we wouldn't be in this mess. Feel free to keep doing everything your government asks and you will never ever be free again. The Canadians accepted the King and their powers in 1776 and were stupid enough to pay taxes to them until 1982. I lived in Canada and remember the separation. The free thinking Americans fought the British and stood on the side of Liberty.
Tuesday 4th of January 2022
Mexico's government knows something that would allow even passengers of cruise ships "infected" with "Covid-19" to enter the country. What they know is no secret. It is that Covid-19 does not exist. What is called Covid-19 is actually Covid-02 (2002) or a variant of it. Our immune system had 20 years to build up against it so that it isn't as dangerous as it was back then. I am glad that Mexico decided to go against the entire world. That is what makes me decide to take residency and potentially citizenship in the future.
Tuesday 4th of January 2022
I’m in Mexico right now and finally enjoying the freedom that has been taken from me in the west. Thank god there’s still one normal country left in the whole world. Coming to Mexico saved my sanity, and I’m not looking forward to returning to Canada ! 😭