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July 13, 2010


2009 Ends Weak on Bookings

  • According to the U.S. Department of Commerce-sponsored Mexico Travel Trade Barometer, Mexico bookings to the United States joined the trend of declines registered from other countries in 2009.
  • Mexico tour operators reported (as of February 26 – April 7, 2010) that 2009 bookings were down one to three percent, on average, compared to 2008.
  • A strong majority, 92 percent of trade, reported that bookings decreased for the year.

First Quarter 2010 Bookings Projected to be Up

  • For the first quarter 2010, most Mexico tour operators (77 percent of the trade) projected that bookings to the United States would be higher.
  • In contrast, just under a quarter (23 percent) of the trade projected bookings to be lower.

Second Quarter 2010 Bookings Continue to be Higher

  • Mexico bookings for the second quarter 2010 were also projected to be higher, on average, compared to last year.
  • Similar to the first quarter, just over three quarters of the trade projected an increase in bookings.
  • However, unlike the first quarter, none of the trade projected a decrease in bookings for the second quarter.

Travel Motivators and Deterrents

  • In the next six months, the top two factors rated as motivators for bookings to the United States were accommodation rates and the exchange rate to the U.S. dollar.
  • The primary barrier for travel to the United States was reported to be concern for a pandemic/epidemic, closely followed by concern for natural disasters in the United States.

Competitive Destinations

  • Mexico tour operators projected travel within Central America as the top competitive destination, followed by travel to Europe and domestic travel within Mexico.

Actual Mexico** Arrivals to the United States: Annual 2009 and Fourth Quarter 2009

  • Actual 2009 arrivals from Mexico totaled 13.2 million, decreasing three percent when compared to 2008.
  • Fourth quarter 2009 arrivals from Mexico totaled 1.7 million, up three percent compared to fourth quarter 2008.
    • In October 2009, Mexico arrivals totaled 469,000, up two percent when compared to October 2008.
    • Visitation in November 2009 totaled 497,000, increasing two percent when compared to November 2008.
    • In December 2009, arrivals from Mexico were 763,000, up five percent when compared to December 2008.

Travel Market Insights (www.travelmi.com) conducts the Canada, Mexico, United Kingdom, Germany and Japan Travel Trade Barometer programs. The U.S. Department of Commerce, Office of Travel and Tourism Industries, is a sponsor and was the initial developer of the barometer program. The Barometer program is conducted with support from the U.S. Commercial Service and various Visit USA Committees and additional sponsors.

The Travel Trade Barometer survey is conducted on a quarterly basis in Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, Germany and Japan and is available through subscription. Reports sent to subscribers include additional information, such as:

  • Bookings - looking at the past quarter and the next two quarters for U.S. and competitive regional destinations;
  • Short term bookings for more than five specific travel segments; and
  • Over 15 motivators or deterrents for travel to the United States.

Specific (proprietary) destination data is also available through a subscription.

For more information on the Travel Barometer Program, please visit http://tinet.ita.doc.gov/research/programs/barometer/index.html

U.S. Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration
Office of Travel and Tourism Industries (OTTI)
1401 Constitution Avenue N.W., Room 1003
Washington, D.C. 20230
Phone: (202) 482-0140
Fax: (202) 482-4279
Email: Otti@trade.gov

** The 2009 annual aggregate estimate of all Mexico travelers to the United States, received from Banco de Mexico, includes all travelers. Mexico visitation for the fourth quarter and for October, November and December reflect a count of travel to the ‘U.S. Interior’ only.