Miguel Torruco Marques, minister of tourism for Mexico City // © 2015 Mexico Tourism Board
Feature image (above): The number of visitors to Mexico City continues to grow. // © 2015 IStock
If the recent polls of 2015 travel trends are any indication, Mexico’s beaches can wait. Instead, international travelers are flocking to the cultural mecca of Mexico City. According to minister of tourism Miguel Torruco Marques, Mexico’s capital city is currently experiencing a record breaking eight-year streak in international arrivals — and the trend shows no signs of stopping.
The tourism minister reported that 1 million tourists had arrived in Mexico City during the first quarter of 2015. Mexico City’s Board of Tourism credits incentives such as “Mis Raices” (My Roots) as a positive factor in the boost. Aimed at the 33.5 million Mexican-Americans, the campaign encourages travelers to revisit their heritage and rediscover a historic, hidden gem of a city.
“Last year, we had more than 13 million people visit Mexico City, and we’re very happy about that,” Torruco Marques said. “Thirty-nine percent of total visitors came from the U.S.”
It is no secret that Mexico City is a metropolis of culture and activity, yet many are unaware of just how much is available in the region.
“Mexico City has a lot to offer,” he said. “For example, we have 188 museums. Only London has more museums in the world. That is a very important part of Mexico City and offers tourists a lot of things to do.”
In addition to a myriad of excellent museums, restaurants and growing five-star hotel offerings, Mexico City is home to several religious sites, which has led to another positive drive in tourism. The Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe welcomes more than 15 million visitors annually, which has not gone unnoticed for Torruco Marques.
“We offer organized trips to different churches and religious sites,” Torruco Marques said. “We also have four UNESCO World Heritage sites that are very important to visit.”
Tourism not only helps keep the cultural dialogue alive, but works to preserve the historical references found in each of the sites. According to Torruco Marques, tourism will continue to be critical to maintaining Mexico City’s multicultural past and present.