OECD Studies on Tourism

2223-9804 (online)
2223-9790 (print)
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This series of studies on tourism examines various means of promoting tourism as well as the related policies and programmes of specific countries.

Tourism Policy Review of Mexico

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13 Jan 2017
9789264266575 (PDF) ;9789264266568(print)

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The Mexico Tourism Policy Review provides an assessment of tourism-related policies, programmes and plans to support sustainable tourism development in Mexico. Policy recommendations focus on priority areas to help strengthen Mexico's tourism sector and take advantage of opportunities with strong potential for economic growth, investment and development, notably in the following areas: policy-making environment and governance arrangements; transport, mobility and connectivity for visitor travel; inclusive tourism growth, destination development and product and regional diversification; and investment and SME financing.

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  • Preface

    Tourism plays a crucial role for Mexico's economy, and has performed strongly in recent years. Tourism accounts directly for 8.5% of GDP and generates higher than average value for the economy. It also provides employment for millions of Mexicans. While official data indicate that the sector directly supports 2.3 million jobs (5.8%), the real figure is significantly higher when informal jobs are taken into account. Growth in tourism has surpassed growth in many other advanced and emerging tourism economies in recent years, and has contributed to a healthy travel balance, helping to compensate for weaker oil revenues.

  • Foreword

    This publication presents the OECD country review of tourism issues and policies in Mexico. It forms part of the programme of work of the OECD Tourism Committee and has been prepared by the Secretariat of the OECD Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Local Development and Tourism. The report is part of a series of reviews on tourism issues and policies undertaken by the OECD in countries that express an interest in cooperating on an external assessment of their policy challenges. Tourism policy reviews aim to: enhance tourism performance, competitiveness and innovation; increase knowledge about tourism policy design and evaluation; diffuse evidence-based lessons and good practices; and strengthen policy coherence and linkages. The present review has been prepared at the request of the Government of Mexico.

  • Acronyms and abbreviations
  • Executive summary

    Tourism is an important economic sector in Mexico, and the country plays a prominent role in tourism globally. The sector directly accounts for 8.5% of GDP, 5.8% of full-time paid employment (in the formal sector), and 77.2% of service exports. It contributes positively to Mexico’s Balance of Payments, and generates higher than average value to the economy. A record 32.1 million international tourists contributed MXN 246.1 billion (USD 15.5 billion) to the economy in 2015, with growth in people and monetary flows to the country outstripping growth in many advanced and emerging tourism economies in recent years. This follows a prolonged period of more modest growth. Domestic tourism is also significant, contributing 88 of every 100 Mexican pesos consumed by tourists in the country and supporting employment and development in regions which do not attract international visitors.

  • Assessment and recommendations

    Tourism is an important economic sector in Mexico, and the country plays a prominent role in tourism globally. The sector directly contributed 8.5% of GDP to Mexico’s economy in 2014, double the OECD average (4.1%), and one of the highest direct shares of GDP among OECD countries. Tourism’s impact on employment is significant, directly supporting 2.3 million full-time equivalent jobs, or 5.8% of full-time paid employment, not counting those employed in the significant informal tourism economy. Tourism’s share of trade in services is also substantial, as international travel receipts accounted for 77.2% of service exports in 2015, significantly ahead of the OECD average (21.3% in 2014).

  • Profile and performance of tourism in Mexico

    Tourism is an important economic sector in Mexico and plays a key role in stimulating growth, generating export revenues and supporting jobs. The country is experiencing a boom in international tourism at the moment – 2015 was a record year for international arrivals and receipts, with growth outstripping many advanced and emerging tourism economies. Domestic tourism is also important. This chapter examines the performance and competitiveness of tourism in Mexico over the last decade, within the broader economic context. The major challenges and opportunities facing the Mexican tourism sector are discussed, and the importance of robust statistical information on tourism to better drive business and policy decision-making is highlighted.

  • Towards an integrated approach to tourism policy in Mexico

    Tourism is high on the policy agenda in Mexico. The country has a remarkable range of well-articulated tourism plans and programmes which aim to spur investment and economic growth, promote balanced regional development and stimulate more productive, inclusive and sustainable growth. Ensuring these plans and programmes are effectively co-ordinated and implemented will be vital to realising Mexico’s tourism development potential, and delivering on these objectives. This chapter examines the tourism policy making environment and reviews the main plans, strategies and initiatives. It reviews the institutional arrangements and governance framework for tourism policy, and considers the mechanisms to support coherent and co-ordinated tourism policy development.

  • Connecting tourists with destinations in Mexico

    The Mexican transport system has a vital role to play in moving domestic and international tourists from their place of residence to, and around, their final destination. Transport is a key enabler of tourism. Addressing the challenge of better connecting tourists with destinations, and on to various attractions, is necessary if Mexico is to diversify its tourism offer and source markets, strengthen tourism in regional areas, and better spread the benefits. This chapter describes the interaction between transport and tourism policies and identifies opportunities to better align tourism and transport development. It also examines connectivity strategies to improve traveller mobility, handle travel flows and link hubs with destinations.

  • Inclusive tourism development in Mexico

    Mexico’s well-established model of tourism development has benefited from significant public investment to successfully leverage the country’s natural climate and coastline endowment over the last four decades. This model is now maturing, and is vulnerable to challenge from changing consumer demand patterns, environmental considerations and competitiveness issues. It is also unlikely that this model can support tourism policy objectives to promote more inclusive and sustainable growth. This chapter considers a future growth path for tourism in Mexico and focuses on destination development and product diversification. It examines strategies to better spread the benefits of tourism, improve the overall tourism offer, promote regional development and widen employment opportunities.

  • Financing tourism development in Mexico

    Access to finance is one of the key underlying conditions required if tourism in Mexico is to deliver on its economic potential and provide skilled jobs, increase productivity and contribute to inclusive growth. Opportunities exist to better target financing to viable tourism projects of all scales and mobilise private sector funds to support more diversified model of tourism development. This chapter provides a systematic analysis of tourism-related investment and financing policies, and outlines the current framework conditions and main public actors influencing financing in the sector. It examines the effectiveness of existing mechanisms in mobilising private investment for large scale infrastructure projects, and in improving access to financing for small and microenterprises in particular.

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