Realizing the Full Value of Mexican Tourism to the United States
As the U.S. take steps to regain the nation's prominence as an international tourism destination, the U.S. federal government needs to take a number of key steps in order to realize the full value of tourism from our nation's number two tourism market: Mexico. A renewed focus on this key market has strong potential to result in increased tourism expeditures and job creation in the Southwest as well as the rest of the nation. Yet such positive outcomes will only result from a shift in the nation's strategic approach toward Mexico's growing middle class, enhanced efficiencies at our land ports of entry as well as improvements in visa processing at our Embassy and Consulates in Mexico.
Though the recent Executive Order
("Establishing Visa and Foreign Visitor Processing Goals and the Task Force on Travel and Competitiveness") focuses the federal governments' efforts on increasing tourism from China and Brazil, focusing federal efforts on increasing Mexican
tourism offers particular advantages that may not be readily apparent and even counterintuitive to most Americans. Yet Mexico is an economic powerhouse with the 12th largest economy in the world, and the nation boasted the fastest growth of any OECD country in 2011. Trade with Mexico supports six million jobs in the United States' second largest export market after Canada. By not taking the right steps on increaing tourism to the U.S. from Mexicco, we risk "leaving money on the table" with this key, underappreciated market right next door.
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