In less than a year the coronavirus pandemic erased from the map almost a third of the world’s air routes and in Mexico it caused a collapse calculated in 52 percent in the arrival of international tourists, which went from 45 million in 2019 to just over 21.6 million by the end of 2020.
Furthermore, despite the fact that several nations have begun vaccination against SARS-CoV-2, the pandemic does not stop, as infections increase and economies return to confinement after the arrival of new strains that spread more quickly and have caused new border closures in some countries and once again the paralysis of tourism.
For this year, the ‘industry without chimneys’ readjusted his forecasts for the future, this while thousands of workers in the sector they have lost their jobs or have lost income from the new closure.
The Ministry of Tourism (Sectur) estimated that this year the arrival of international tourists to the country in the most optimistic scenario would reach 42.7 million travelers, a figure still 5 percent below the levels presented before the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic in 2019, when Mexico received 45 million foreign travelers.
However, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and business organizations in the country, foresee that the recovery of international travelers at levels prior to COVID in Mexico will occur until 2024.
Rafael García, president of the Association of Hotels of Mexico City (AHCDMX), He opined that in the first quarter of this year it will be difficult for entrepreneurs in the sector because there are no clients to attend due to the new ‘cap’ of leisure activities and the low influx of business travelers.
García explained that the outlook for this year is still complicated, since from the first quarter, the hoteliers who received loans at the beginning of the pandemic will have to amortize the first payments and they don’t have the flow to do it.
“For hoteliers, the first quarter we will not exceed 25 percent (occupancy) and the second we will not exceed 30 percent occupancy, trying to close the year with 40 percent, this with optimism. It is a complicated panorama for the year that begins ”, indicated García in an interview for The financial.
In the medium or conservative scenario, the arrival of international tourists to the country would reach 34.5 million at the end of the year, an amount 23 percent lower than that registered in the year before the pandemic, that is, in 2019.
In the pessimistic scenario, which contemplates a longer duration of the epidemic, the recovery of the flow of travelers from North America It would be slower, since this year only 26.3 million tourists would arrive, a figure 41 percent lower than those registered in 2019.
Braulio Arsuaga, president of the National Tourism Business Council (CNET), calculated that this year’s recovery It will not only be gradual, but also low and will depend on the stages of application of the vaccines, which in some way they will return the confidence to travel from abroad and within the country.
“The answer is that (this year) in the travel industry the recovery will be gradual and low. (This) year we will be vaccinating, « said Arsuaga.
The vaccination plan includes 5 stages, said the president of CNET and indicated that the fourth stage involves people between 40 and 49 years old, that is, those who have the possibility to pay for their trips and those of their families.
« But in the end there will be people who will not be vaccinated and will be afraid of travel restrictions, » said Arsuaga.
During this year, tourists from the United States airway will reach 8 million 571 thousand, this is three million 390 thousand more than the estimated in 2020 in the optimistic scenario; the conservative, 6 million 359 thousand tourists, one million 177 thousand more than in 2020; while the pessimistic would be 5 million 234 thousand, just 51 thousand 800 above 2020, which is equivalent to an increase of one percent.
One of the plans of the Ministry of Tourism and the Association of Tourism Secretaries (Asetur) is increase the promotion of national destinations Among US citizens, the most important market and on which Mexico depends to recover the inflow of foreign currency.
Efforts, given the limited participation of the federation, have focused on promoting destinations through local alliances: each of the states with a tourist vocation focused on publicizing their security and attractive protocols, however, the Mexico brand it has been diluted in the imagination of tourists.
It should be noted that as of November, the entry of tourists from abroad to Mexico had a fall of 45.6 percent per year, compared to the penultimate month of 2019.
Last November, 2 million 90 thousand 528 international tourists entered the country, a figure far from the 3 million 844 thousand 604 travelers in the same month of 2019.
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