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Latino Daily News

Monday June 11, 2012

Mexico and Spain Feud Over Tourist Restrictions

Mexico and Spain Feud Over Tourist Restrictions

Photo: Spain and Mexico Feud Over Tourism

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The Mexican government will not impose restrictions on Spanish tourists in response to the measures Madrid has applied to Mexicans, Foreign Relations Secretary Patricia Espinosa said.

Before this month is out, a Mexican delegation will travel to Spain to discuss the matter of restrictions on Mexicans at Spanish airports, Espinosa said in a press conference on Saturday.

“We’re talking with other ministries to send a mission to Spain with the tentative idea that there could be the presence of authorities of this country at airports in Spain to help Mexican tourists when flights arrive from Mexico,” Espinosa said.

Mexico had expressed its concern regarding Spain’s refusal to grant entry to Mexican tourists because they did not comply with the requirement to have an invitation or a hotel reservation, Espinosa said.

Mexico respects the immigration policy of any country, but in different contacts with Spain it has discussed the matter, in particular during the sessions of the 10th Mexico-Spain Binational Commission in Madrid, Espinosa said.

The foreign relations secretary said that in her meetings with Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo it was agreed to respect Mexicans’ rights and to treat Mexicans appropriately when they travel to Spain.

“What we’re agreeing to for right now is to respect the rights of Mexicans who travel to Spain and for there to be a meeting of immigration authorities from both countries,” Espinosa said.

There are sectors of Spanish society that are asking Madrid to provide dignified treatment for Mexican visitors corresponding to the treatment Mexico has always given Spaniards, Espinosa said.

Mexico is not imposing any restrictions on tourism since that would go against its program to make itself into one of the world’s five main tourist destinations, Espinosa said.

“It seems to us that it would really be contrary to the principle of increasing tourism to adopt measures of that type. It seems to us that that type of measure does not resolve problems and creates another kind of negative consequences,” the foreign relations secretary said.