Q+A: Gloria Guevarra, Mexico Secretary of Tourism
T+L spoke with Gloria Guevarra, Mexico's Secretary of Tourism, in the closing days of the administration of Felipe Calderón, in whose cabinet she served, and days before the end of the cycle of the Mayan calendar and the beginning of a new era.
Q: Mexico is the number one international destination for U.S. travelers. In fact, it has grown by record numbers in 2011 and is on track to exceed these figures in 2012. To what do you attribute the growth?
A: Yes, in 2011, we had a record number of international visitors, 23.4 million. Of these, 10.1 flew into Mexico, and of those 5.7 were from the United States. First, I would have to say that the increase is due to an increased interest and appreciation in Mexico, that is, in the richness of the destination: the natural landscape, from Baja California to the Yucatán, our beaches and colonial cities, history, arts and culture, cuisine, and, of course, the hospitality of our people. But the growth in tourism also is a result of the creation, and for the first time, of an overall tourism business plan.