Fewer Mexicans visit US in Q1: report

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Mexico City, April 22 (IANS) A significant number of Mexican travellers stayed away from the US, a traditional getaway destination for the families in the neighbouring country during the Easter holidays, the media has reported.

Headlined “Mexican tourists say no to the US in Holy Week”, an editorial published in the daily El Economista on Friday said, “there are fewer Mexicans visiting their ‘favourite’ places in the US”, Xinhua news agency reported.

While the drop in the US-bound tourism was evident in the first quarter of 2017, the trend “became clear during the Holy Week and Easter vacations” as Mexicans reacted to the hostile policies of US President Donald Trump, the daily said.

On January 25, Trump signed an executive order for a “physical barrier” to be built along the US-Mexico border of nearly 3,200 km.

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However, “international experts point out that our country, along with Canada, would benefit the most from travellers losing interest in the US,” El Economista said.

Data published earlier this week by the Mexican Ministry of Tourism appears to bear this out, with statistics indicating more Mexicans chosing to travel domestically.

“Preliminary figures… show the 2017 Holy Week vacation period set a record, achieving a general average of 91 per cent” domestic hotel occupancy, the ministry said on Wednesday.

Some Caribbean beach destinations, such as Cancun, Holbox and Puerto Morelos, even hit 100 per cent hotel occupancy.

The US tourism industry has taken note of the fall in visitor numbers, not only from Mexico, but also Europe and the Middle East.

“On the web, flight searches for trips heading to the US out of all international locations was recently down by 17 per cent,” according to a recent article in US travel-planning website Frommer’s.

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