Gloria Guevara named Mexico’s new tourism minister

Mexico President Felipe Calderon named Gloria Guevara as the new minister of tourism, putting her in charge of developing an industry that is the country’s third- biggest source of dollar inflows.

Guevara, who previously was chief executive officer of Sabre Holdings Corp.’s Mexican unit, replaces Rodolfo Elizondo who served as tourism minister since 2003.

“This will be of great importance to design effective strategies to attract visitors and consequently generate more jobs and well-being for Mexicans,” Calderon told reporters today in Mexico City.

Mexico’s tourism industry has been hit by potential visitors’ concerns about violence associated with drug trafficking, an outbreak of H1N1 flu last year and the global economic slump. Tourism revenue fell 15 percent to $11.3 billion in 2009 from $13.3 billion 2008, according to the Tourism Ministry.

Guevara has master’s degrees in marketing from the Universidad Anahuac in Mexico City and business administration from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. Sabre, which manages software for travel Web sites used by hotels, airlines and rental agencies, handles 71 percent of Mexican hotel, airline and car rental reservations, newspaper Excelsior reported today.

Mexico’s biggest sources of dollar inflows are oil sales and remittances from workers living abroad.