Incoming Mexican Government Could Shut Down Tourism Promotion Council

The Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City
The Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City

When it takes office Dec. 1, the incoming Mexican government might close Mexico’s Tourism Promotion Council (Consejo de Promoción Turística de Mexico, or CPTM), according to reports in this week’s Mexican media. No official word concerning the plan or a timeline is yet available, however. A Mexico Tourism Board U.S. executive had no comment on the matter, as the board was conducting business as usual at this week’s IBTM World exhibition in Barcelona, Spain.

The National Tourism Business Council (Consejo Nacional Empresarial Turístico, or CNET), a coalition of national businesses in the hospitality sector, is expressing great concern, according to the Mexico City-based Excelsior newspaper. Per that report, CNET sent a document this week to incoming presidential cabinet chief Alfonso Romo outlining potentially dire economic consequences as a result of the potential closure. 
 
The business council warns that the tourism sector could very well collapse in the same way it did after 2009’s confluence of security problems, the swine-flu epidemic and the Great Recession, according to the report.
 
Visitation from the United States is already on a serious downward slide, asserts the document, anticipating growth of just 1.3 percent this year, following multiple years of increases exceeding 10 percent. CNET attributes the decline in large part to the U.S. State Department’s August update of the Mexico travel warning, notes the report.
 
The council goes on to name seven additional factors likely to challenge tourism growth in the coming years, including increased competition from other countries, a potential deceleration or recession in the United States, Brexit-related issues affecting tourism from the U.K., economic issues in Argentina and Brazil affecting inbound tourism from those countries, airline struggles, rising interest rates and a tariff/trade war. The tourism promotion division, asserts the document, is crucial, and a simple reorganization of CPTM could significantly reduce the required budget vs. what it received this year.

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