Mexico welcomed nearly 11.8 million foreign tourists by air last year, up 9 percent from the 10.8 million visitors who arrived by air in 2012, the Tourism Secretariat said.
Figures are not yet available on tourist arrivals via all modes of transportation for last year, but the Bank of Mexico reported that 21.2 million foreigners visited the country during the first 11 months of 2013, generating revenues of $12.3 billion, a figure that was up 8.79 percent from the same period in 2012, the secretariat said.
Tourist arrivals rose 7.8 percent in December, compared to the same month in 2012, the secretariat said.
The United States was the top source of visitors, accounting for nearly 6.5 million tourists, up 9 percent from December 2012.
The biggest growth, however, was in tourists from Colombia, up 60.4 percent from the 2012 level, the secretariat said.
The number of visitors from Canada rose 1.8 percent, compared to 2012.
Tourist arrivals from Russia were up 39.9 percent, while the number of visitors from Peru increased 39 percent.
The number of tourists flying to Mexico from China rose 26.6 percent.
Tourism accounts for 9 percent of Mexico’s GDP and ranks as the No. 3 source of foreign exchange, trailing only the oil industry and remittances.
The Mexican tourism industry directly employs about 2.5 million people.