Mexico tourism revenue down to $928.3M in November

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MEXICO CITY – Mexico’s tourism revenue fell a relatively modest 7.9% in November from the year-ago month, the Bank of Mexico said Friday, an improvement for a sector that was hit simultaneously by the A/H1N1 influenza outbreak and the economic crisis.

Income from border crossings, tourists and cruise passengers totaled $928.3 million in November, compared with $1.01 billion in November 2008.

International visitors excluding border crossings, who account for the majority of the revenue, totaled 983,909 in November, down from 1.04 million a year earlier, the central bank said.

They spent an average of $730.07, up from $712.26 in the year-ago month.

The number of passengers arriving on cruise ships fell to 549,405, down from 610,644 in November 2008.

In the first 11 months of 2009, Mexico’s tourism revenue fell 16% to $10.11 billion, as tourists, most of whom come from the U.S., declined sharply in number amid the flu outbreak and became more frugal because of the recession.

But Mexico’s income from tourism in November showed the smallest year-on-year decline since the A/H1N1 virus was discovered in late April, suggesting the battered sector is on its way to recovery.

Tourism remains a major source of foreign currency for Mexico, behind crude oil, manufacturing exports and remittances.