Canadians have a “sophisticated” understanding of Mexico as a tourist destination, and are heading there in droves. It is currently the second most important tourist market for Mexico, and in past years has made up 8.8% of tourists visiting Mexico; in 2010 they will represent 14.6 %. According to Mexican government figures, from 2005 to 2009, the number of Canadian tourist visits has doubled, reaching 1,222,739 visits. It’s expected that this year the record will be exceeded. In contrast, the U.S. has fallen this year from 62.9 % of the market to 61 %.
The Globe and Mail points out that as a NAFTA trading partner, Canada has an interest in Mexico’s success, both security-wise, and economically. And although the Canadian government has issued a travel advisory for Mexico, Canadian tourists
have been undeterred, recognizing that most of the violence is confined to a handful of states, particularly those bordering the United States. Indeed, if you look at the total number of Canadian visitors, on a per capita basis, more Canadians were killed in China and Thailand in 2007, than in Mexico, according to figures provided by Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. Many Mexican states have murder rates at or below the rate in the U.S., and The Economist reported recently that, based on official government figures, “Yucatán, where tourists snorkel with whale sharks, sees fewer killings per person than Canada.”
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