Mexico’s strongest performance was with American tourists. The number of Americans arriving by air in the first six months of the year was 6.66 million; i.e. 19.1% more than in the same period of 2019.
It’s unclear whether the war in Ukraine may have played a role in convincing some Americans to vacation closer to home.
The challenge for Mexico’s most popular tourist destinations – the beaches of the Caribbean coast – is no longer COVID, against the spread of which Mexico has never imposed a flight ban, test or demand for mask. Rather, it is the masses of foul-smelling sargassum seaweed that has accumulated in some places along the coast.
Sargassum wasn’t much of a problem on Mexico’s Caribbean coast before it started drifting ashore in 2014 and 2015. 2022 looks to be a particularly bad year.
Overall, Mexico’s economy grew 1% in the second quarter, the national statistics agency said on Friday.
Economic growth for the first half of 2022 now stands at 1.9%, after expanding 0.9% in the first three months of the year.
The economy recovered by 5% in 2021 after a sharp decline during the coronavirus pandemic.
But growth is expected to slow amid high interest rates and a slowing economy in the United States, by far Mexico’s largest trading partner.