Mexico Travel Statistics: 27.7% Increase

Updated On: June 02, 2023

Mexico Flag - Mexico Travel Statistics

Mexico Travel Statistics

Mexico has an incredibly long and rich history and was once home to some of the most advanced ancient civilizations the world has ever seen. Evidence of the earliest human habitants in Mexico dates back around 9.000 years BC. For a few thousand years, humans existed in somewhat nomadic hunter-gatherer societies until around 2000 years BC when agricultural villages started to develop. Those villages grew in several parts of Mexico, and eventually, the first major civilization, the Olmecs, was born around 1200 BC. 

The Olmecs are known for their incredible stone carvings. They also had very complex political and trade systems. But by the year 400 BC, they were gone and no one knows why. Even though the Olmec disappeared, they paved the way for other Mesoamerican civilizations. One of the greatest of these was the Mayan civilization which flourished between 250 and 900 AD and controlled an area roughly the size of Texas. 

They were so advanced that they were one of the first civilizations to understand the concept of zero. They created a complex and accurate calendar by studying the planets and their movements. They built some of the largest pyramids in the world, they have a writing system and even invented chocolate. 

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It is believed the combination of overpopulation, overuse of land, constant wars and prolonged drought caused the decline of the Maya. Though descendants of the once-great civilization still live in Mexico and Central America to this day. Just like the Olmecs before them, the Mayans paved the way for future civilizations, like the well-known Aztecs who had their golden age between 1345 and 1521. They ruled over land from the Gulf to the Pacific. At the height of their power, they had a population of 5 million people which was two million more than all of England at that time. 

The Spanish first arrived in Veracruz in 1519 led by Hernan Cortes. The Aztec emperor Montezuma first thought Cortes was a god and showed him great respect which proved to be a huge mistake. Cortes was able to see first-hand how rich and powerful Montezuma and his empire were, he wanted that for himself so he took advantage of the emperor’s kindness and allied with his enemies. In August 1521 Cortes and his army seized the Aztec capital called Tenochtitlan. Thus, he conquered the Aztecs. 

Then, they began colonizing the area, renaming it Nueva Espana. This was an incredibly bad time for the indigenous people because, over the next 80 years, the Spanish killed over 24 million people in Mesoamerica either through war or disease. In Neuva Espana, the conquistadors expanded their rule, subjected the surviving indigenous people, introduced Catholicism and set up a class system which placed people born in Spain at the top and indigenous people at the bottom. 

The Two classes in the middle class were the Criollos who were Spaniards born in Mexico and Mestizos who were people with Spanish and Mexican parents. Over the next two centuries, the Mestizos, and especially the Criollos, began to feel resentment towards those who were born in Spain because they were the only ones allowed any political power. They questioned the divine rights of the kings. After they helped the newly-formed United States in their war for independence in 1776 and the Spanish king Charles IV was dethroned by Napolean in 1808. 

Talks of Mexican independence spread far and wide and quickly gained popularity. The war was ultimately started by a Catholic priest, called Miguel Hidalgo Y Costilla, who spent years secretly talking to people in this community, promoting the idea of revolution and uniting people of all social classes. It was Hidalgo Y Costilla who declared war on Spain on the morning of September 16, 1810, after Costilla received word that someone had exposed his actions to the Spanish authorities.

The Mexican War for Independence went on for 11 long years, during which it was estimated that over half a million Mexican were killed. The war ended when a rebel leader, Vincent Guerrero, and a defected Spanish royalist leader, Agustin De Iturbide, collaborated, negotiated and drafted a constitution that made Mexico an independent constitutional monarchy. 

Even though Mexico had declared independence, some people still wanted the monarchy. So, Iturbide seized his chance and declared himself emperor. However, the Mexican people hated this step because it meant that nothing has changed for them. Those feelings resulted in him being overthrown by Antonio Lopez De Santa Anna, who changed Mexico into a federal republic.

Then, Texas won independence from Mexico in 1836 and joined the United States a few years later. Then in 1846, after Mexico rejected requests by the US government to purchase a large chunk of their land, the US invaded Mexico sparking the Mexican- American War. Mexican lost all their northern territories to the United States including California, Arizona, and New Mexico among others. 

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Then in 1861, they were occupied by the French and turned back into a monarchy, this time with an Australian emperor. Luckily 6 years later with the help of the United States, France was kicked out of Mexico and they were once again independent. 

Just a few years later, Mexico came under the rule of dictator Porfirio Diaz. While infrastructure and the industrial revolution bloomed with Diaz in charge, he rigged the elections, favoured the rich and ignored the needs of the poor. By 1910, the Mexican people were fed up with the great wealth inequality which sparked the Mexican Revolution which lasted for 10 years and cost the life of 2 million people. The revolution ended yet with another new constitution. Which favoured organized labour and limited the presidents to a single term in office. 

Unfortunately even after all that fighting, not much was fixed for the labourers who needed the change the most. However, a few decades later, Mexico’s economy got a big boost when it joined the fight in World War II. It gave them the money and resources they needed to build better roads, irrigation systems and factories. 

For the first time in their independence history, they had political stability and peaceful changes of powers. They allowed foreign investment, they became major producers of natural gas and they greatly expanded their highways, railroads, and airline networks which did wonders to their economy. 

But unfortunately, by the 1980s, drug cartels had a major growth as there was a high demand coming from the United States. The growth of the cartels resulted in a lot of violence in the country. While the fight against the cartels is still an ongoing battle, in recent years, they have had less and less influence in the country.  Mexico has become one of the most significant countries in all of the Americas for their plentiful natural resources, industrial output, and booming tourism industry.

International Visitors to Mexico For the Period From January to August 2021

Thirty-Five million international visitors arrived in Mexico between January and August 2021. There was a decrease of about 1.3% in the number of international visitors in 2021compared to the same period in 2020. The number of international visitors in 2020 was 35.5 million visitors. While back in 2019, the number of international visitors between January and August was 64.4 million visitors. There was a dramatic drop in 2020 by 44.9% from 2019. 

International Tourist Arrivals From January to August 2021

A total of 20.1 million international tourists arrived in Mexico from January to August 2021. There was a significant increase of 27.7% in the number of international tourists in 2021 compared to the same period in 2020. The number of international tourists in 2020 was 15.7 million tourists. The number of international tourists in 2020 witnessed a dramatic decrease of 47.3% from 2019. In 2019, the number of international tourists observed was 29.8 million tourists. The highest number of international tourists was observed in 2019 while the minimum number was in 2020.

International Tourist Arrivals by Air

Exactly 6,409,302 U.S. citizens arrived in Mexico by air between January to August 2021. This period witnessed a significant increase of 112.2% compared to the same period in 2020. The number of international tourists who arrived by air in 202 observed was 3.058.713 tourists which represented a dramatic drop of 58.7% compared to the same period in 2019. In 2019, The period between January and August witnessed several 7.406.045 tourists. The highest number of tourists who arrived by air in Mexico was 6,409,302 tourists while the minimal number observed was 3.058.713 tourists.

The number of UK tourists who arrived by air in Mexico between January to August 2021 represented 1% of all arrivals. Brazil, as well as Colombia, represented 2% of all arrivals. Canada also represented 1% the same as the UK of all the arrivals in Mexico by air. 

Main Airports of Arrivals

Cancun, Mexico City and Los Cabos represent the three highest international arrivals respectively between January and August 2021. The number of arrivals in Cancun was 3.884. 708 million arrivals. Cancun witnessed a great increase observed at 77.8% compared to the same period in 2020. Mexico City also witnessed a significant increase of 27.1% compared to the same period in 2020. The number of arrivals in Mexico City was 1.483.416 arrivals. While Los Cabos had a huge increase in the number of arrivals observed at 1.069.834 arrivals compared to the same period in 2020. It witnessed a 97.2% increase in the number of arrivals.

Top 10 Attractions in Mexico

Gorgeous beaches, a delicious culinary scene, festive culture and ancient pyramids, all make Mexico a preferred tourist destination. Mexico could be a land of colour and contrasts. Crowded beaches headed to quiet colonial towns while resort cities open gateways to jungles buzzing with parrots and howler monkeys. Majestic mountains descend to remote deserts. Traditional Pueblo houses sit near Spanish haciendas. Ruins in Mayan cities lie excavated outside of contemporary metropolises. Let’s have a glance at the simplest places to go to in Mexico:

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Chichen Itza: one of the foremost famous archaeological sites on earth, Chichen Itza was once a thriving city on the Yucatan. Built by the Mayan in 600 AD, it was abandoned in 1221 when Mayapan became the region’s new capital. Highlights include the Temple of Kukulcan, a large stone pyramid with four stairways representing a compass and 365 steps for every day of the year. it’s best visited during the spring or autumnal equinox when the sun creates a lightweight show on the steps of the pyramid. Other must-see sites include the Ball Court, the Wall of Skulls and also the Sacred Cenote which was once a site of human sacrifice. 

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Tulum: An hour’s drive from Cancun, the Talum ruins are the remains of an ancient clifftop fortress built by the Mayans. Walled on three sides with the fourth receptive to the Caribbean, the views are simply incredible. while it dates back to 564 AD, Tulum was at its prime during the 13th and 14th centuries. it was a strong trading hub for jade, cotton and cacao beans. but the El Castillo Pyramid, is the most attractive, have a glance at the attractive mural inside the temple of the Frescoes and opt for a swim at Tulum’s secret beach, surrounded by palm trees and sunbathing iguanas. 

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Teotihuacan: Located on the outskirts of modern-day Ciudad de Mexico, Teotihuacan is one of the foremost famous Aztec archaeological sites. The Aztecs didn’t build it. Despite many theories, nobody is certain who did it. However, the Aztecs did name it and make it their own once they stumbled across the abandoned city. In its prime, it was the biggest city in the hemisphere and residential to a plethora of residential compounds and pyramids. Today, its two iconic pyramids, the Temple of the Sun and also the Temple of the Moon are the key highlights. Stroll along the Avenue of the Dead and visit the Citadel and therefore the Temple of the Feathered Serpent.

Peurto Vallarta: Situated on the Bay of Banderas along Mexico’s Pacific Coast is the popular vacation city of Peurto Vallarta. Landscapes of gorgeous beaches and luxurious jungle mountains envelope this picturesque town of colonial landmarks, first-class resorts and gourmet restaurants. The city’s main attractions, the golden sand beaches offer relaxation and water sports like sailing, kite surfing and deep-sea fishing. Giant manta rays and dolphins are viewed while humpback whales will be seen between December and March.

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Mexico City: one of the most important cities in the globe, Ciudad de Mexico is the sprawling capital of Mexico. This amazing metropolis is jammed full of history, scintillating culture and amazing art. Originally an Aztec settlement as evidenced by the ruins of the 13th century Templo Mayor, there are plenty of buildings that point back to its Spanish colonial past because of the capital of recent Spain. Baroque churches and bright palaces lie among cobblestoned old lanes. the town encompasses a protracted relationship with art and has been home to famous intellectuals and artists throughout the years, including Mexican icons Frida Kahlo and muralists. 

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Oaxaca: The capital city of the state, Oaxaca is found in a valley below the Sierra Madre mountains. Colonial architecture, archaeological sites and a tranquil atmosphere make it a preferred tourist destination. In the middle of Oaxaca is its charming town square where tourists can admire beautiful colonial landmarks, rather like the city Church, tour museums and relax at an outdoor cafe. Several archaeological sites around the city are going to be explored like Monte Alban. Perched on a mountain, Monte Alban was the situation of the standard capital city of the Zapotec inhabitants and offers impressive views of the valley below. 

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Guanajuato: Tucked away in a narrow valley in Central Mexico, lies the gorgeous colonial city of Guanajuato. the town was founded in 1554 next to 1 of the richest silver mining areas of Mexico. The 16the century mining boom led to the event of lovely haciendas and fine colonial mansions. Many of them are made out of pink and green sandstone. Guanajuato streets and much of colourful alleyways are detached in every direction while most of its traffic is served by a network of underground tunnels, making it an excellent city for pedestrians. 

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Copper Canyon: Named after the copper-green colour of the canyon walls, the Copper Canyon may well be a network of 6 canyons which together are several times larger than the Grand Canyon. Located within the Sierra Madre, this canyon system offers a variety of Mexico’s most extraordinary scenery. There are some ways to explore Copper Canyon, but the foremost outstanding way is by the Chihuahua-Pacific Railway. The track passes over 37 bridges and thru 86 tunnels, rising as high as 8.000 feet above water level, featuring a variety of the Canyon’s most spectacular scenery. 

Cancun: A world-famous tourist destination on the Caribbean coast of the Yucatan, Cancun presents a complete vacation package of fabulous beaches, a first-class hotel zone, Mayan ruins and exuberant nightlife. Cancun’s year-round perfect weather and beautiful beaches are the city’s top tourist magnet. With 14 miles of powdery white sand bordering turquoise waters, these beaches offer an honest range of outdoor activities. The downtown area, called El Centro, beats to a more authentic Mexican tune with its historic architecture, cheap eating options and salsa clubs. 

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San Miguel de Allende: Of all the foremost popular destinations in Mexico, San Miguel de Allende might be a picturesque and charming Mexican city that’s magical to wander around. looking over Rio Laja, the town is beautifully located on a steep hillside. Its cobbled streets and pleasant colonial architecture make it a treat to behold. Although there are no major attractions, simply being here might be a treat. Whether it’s dining in the nice restaurants, perusing the galleries or visiting the nearby hot springs, this city won’t disappoint.

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