Mexico - Country Commercial Guide
Travel and Tourism
Last published date:

With Mexico’s proximity to and familiarity with the United States, it is no surprise that travel and tourism represents a best prospect sector for U.S. destinations seeking Mexican travelers. After a difficult 2020 and 2021 for the global travel and tourism industry, Mexico experienced a significant recovery in travel numbers in 2022. These figures have been boosted by improving economic conditions and the reopening of U.S. travel and tourism services, in addition to the implementation of marketing campaigns to attract Mexican travelers.


The United States is the primary destination for Mexican travelers. In 2022, 12.5 million Mexicans traveled to the United States, representing 24 percent of total foreign arrivals. Mexico the second-largest source of international visitors. Even though 2022 saw a significant recovery in Mexican tourism to the United States, it was still 31 percent below 2019 record levels. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Travel and Tourism Office (NTTO), spending by Mexican travelers in 2022 totaled USD 19.2 billion. The top destinations for Mexican travelers are Texas, California, Florida, Nevada, and New York, followed by New Mexico, Colorado, Illinois, and Georgia.

Table: Arrivals of Mexican Travelers to the United States
(Figures in Millions of Travelers)






Total Arrivals from Mexico





% Change





Total Air Arrivals from Mexico





% Change





Source: U.S. Department of Commerce National Travel and Tourism Office

Leading Sub-Sectors

It is important to differentiate between land and air travelers to the United States. Mexican land tourists typically travel to the southwestern states for shorter visits for family or shopping purposes. On average, Mexican air travelers tend to stay longer and purchase packages that include transportation, lodging, shopping, and recreational activities. Business travel, educational travel, and meeting/conference/incentive/exhibition travel (MICE) are additional segments worthy of attention.


Mexicans are drawn to the United States because of the diversity in destinations, infrastructure, and excellent travel and tourism services. Mexicans enjoy destinations that offer shopping, gaming, entertainment, amusement parks, and a cosmopolitan environment. Natural parks and other outdoor destinations are typically not as popular among Mexican travelers, with skiing being the notable exception. In winter months, Mexican tourists flock to resorts in Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah to ski.

Wholesale operators continue to be an important distribution channel in the Mexican travel and tourism market. Wholesalers sell packages to travel agents who provide services to consumers. Mexican travelers prefer to purchase vacation packages through travel agencies, though purchasing airfare and hotel packages online has become much more common in recent years. United States wholesalers and tour operators are key players in the Mexican market, in part because they can negotiate directly with U.S. travel and tourism service companies and therefore offer competitive prices and packages. To save money, wholesalers in Mexico are now buying products and services from tour operators in the United States, who deal directly with local tourism service providers that develop travel packages. The younger Mexican population is much more comfortable buying travel packages over the Internet. The biggest online travel agencies in Mexico now offer hotel rooms, air tickets, and travel packages through their own websites. Travelers often have the option to pay for their travel to the United States by debit or credit card in fixed installments with no interest.

Social networking is increasingly important for the promotion of travel and tourism services. Several U.S. destinations and providers of travel and tourism services represented in Mexico have launched promotional campaigns through social networks including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram. Most of these promotional campaigns are in Spanish and include interaction with the end-consumer and travel agents.

To be successful in the market, it is crucial to establish and maintain personal relationships with travel and tourism companies in Mexico. United States travel and tourism firms are advised to travel to Mexico and develop a comprehensive follow-up strategy in order to gain sufficient exposure in the Mexican market. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, all U.S. destinations and service providers have invested in aggressive post COVID-19 marketing and promotional campaigns to recover market volume. These activities should include deals and promotions by travel services and destinations for local wholesalers. United States destinations and services providers are taking advantage of IT tools and virtual communication platforms to increase education on future attractions and services among potential Mexican tourists. Social media has represented an important way to continue promoting U.S. destinations and services to maintain the interest of the Mexican traveler and to entice them to visit the United States.

Mexican buyers have identified specific activities and segments of the market with good business potential. Entertainment options, such as attending major sports events or concerts in the United States, have become very popular among Mexican travelers. Promoting destinations and tourism services to the Mexican LGBTQI+ community also represents a good market opportunity. Multiple studies show that LGBTQI+ individuals are often considered strongly entrepreneurial, are usually owners of their businesses, and dedicate a significant amount of financial resources to leisure activities such as tourism. Culinary activities are also an important market niche that gets the attention of the Mexican visitor to the United States. 

According to the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Office of Travel and Tourism Industries, 33.5 million U.S. citizens traveled to Mexico in 2022. This travel may also present business opportunities to U.S. firms offering packages and travel services geared towards U.S. travelers to Mexico.


U.S. National Travel and Tourism Office


U.S. Travel Association


Brand USA



  • International Pow Wow (IPW), May 3-7, 2024. Los Angeles, CA
  • Brand USA Mission to Mexico, January 2024. TBD


For more information on the travel and tourism services sector in Mexico, please contact:


Juan Carlos Ruíz

Commercial Specialist

U.S. Commercial Service —Mexico City

Tel.: +52 (55) 5080-2000 ext. 5223