With an estimated 3.1 million international tourists, Mexico City will be the destination in Latin America with the largest number of foreign visitors in 2013, according to the MasterCard’s Global Destination Cities Index. These international tourists are expected to spend 2.2 billion US dollars.
The study ranks 132 cities according to international visitor traffic, consumer expectations and growth forecasts for next year.
Within Latin America, Mexico City ranks first, by number of visitors, with an expected 3.1 million, followed by Buenos Aires (2.6 million), Sao Paolo (2.4 million), Lima (1.8 million), and San Jose (1.4 million).
Further down the ranking in the sixth position is Rio de Janeiro, with an estimated 1.4 million tourists, Bogotá is next with 0.9 million, Montevideo, with 0.7, Quito, 0.6, and closing the top ten is Caracas with 0.5 million.
Together the 10 cities are estimated to receive about 15.4 million international tourists and have an economic impact of close to 14.7 billion dollars in 2013.
MasterCard said that more than half of the spending forecasted will be concentrated in three cities, Sao Paolo will receive 2.9 billion dollars, Buenos Aires will have an outlay of 2.7 billion dollars, while Mexico City is estimated to capture 2.2 billion. The Mexican capital has an influx of tourists mainly from its northern neighbor, the United States. Many come from some of the largest cities in the US, including Miami (324,000 tourists), New York (301,000), Los Angeles (284,000), Dallas (223,000) and Houston (211,000).
The ranking is likely to change over the coming years, mainly because some cities grow faster than others. Case in point, Lima will garner more international visitors with 12.7% growth, followed by Sao Paulo with 10.7% growth in 2013, said Yuwa Hedrick-Wong, global economic advisor to MasterCard. Extrapolating the average annual growth between 2009 and 2013, Sao Paulo could overtake Mexico City and Buenos Aires in 2017, and Lima could pass Buenos Aires in 2018, Hedrick-Wong concluded.(Mexican Business Web)
Translated by Michele Mayer