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April 20, 2004
  Contact: Matt Englehart
(202) 482-3809


Mexican travel to the U.S. is projected to grow through the first half of 2004, according to a U.S. Department of Commerce Travel Barometer Survey of Mexico. The U.S. is positioned to benefit as survey respondents report higher demand compared to 2003.

"The return of travelers from Mexico is a great sign that our tourism industry is continuing to improve," said Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Service Industries, Tourism and Finance Douglas B. Baker. "This is encouraging news for the many American communities that depend on thriving tourism to support the local economy and provide good jobs."

The Travel Barometer Survey is a qualitative survey designed to collect data from the travel trade to promote and/or sell travel to the United States. The goal is to reliably predict a short-term forecast on travel demand to the United States and report growth in bookings and monitor market conditions. The quarterly internet-based program also queries the travel trade's view of what is needed to expand travel to the United States.

Improved Visa processing time and entrance procedures to the U.S. are listed as factors most likely to increase travel demand to the U.S. in 2004. Casino/gambling destinations in the U.S. showed the highest product awareness compared to other competitive destinations. Domestic Mexican travel is the top competitive destination followed by travel within South America. Canada was the top long-haul competitive destination listed for first quarter 2004, however, Western Europe is listed as the top competitive long-haul destination for summer travel.

In February 2004, Ambassador Antonio O. Garza, Jr. announced the launch of the Mexican Travel Barometer. Mexico is the second largest travel market for the United States, and the expansion of the Travel Barometer into Mexico will help U.S. companies effectively track Mexican travel demand and bookings.

For more information on the Travel Barometer Program, please visit http://tinet.ita.doc.gov/research/programs/barometer/index.html
For more information on the Mexican travel market to the USA, please visit http://www.tinet.ita.doc.gov/outreachpages/inbound.country_in_north_america.mexico.html

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