Can tourism boost one of Mexico’s poorest states?

Bin TrumpJuly 30, 2019

It is a tricky time to be in the tourism business in Mexico. A record murder rate, and travel warnings, have put some foreigners off. The number of visitors to Quintana Roo, the jewel of the tourism industry, is expected to drop by 30% this year, due to pile-ups of seaweed on beaches so big that the navy is helping to clean them up. Last year the number of visitors to Mexico rose by 2.2m, its lowest increase since 2013. Just as the bad news mounts, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, the president, has disbanded the tourism-promotion body.

Oaxaca, Mexico’s second-poorest state, is a bright exception. The number of foreigners flying into the capital, a colonial gem also called Oaxaca, soared by 49% in the year to March, a bigger rise than anywhere else. The fame of Yalitza Aparicio, the indigenous star of “Roma”, a film released last year, is likely to make the state still more popular. She is the face of this year’s Guelaguetza, a festival of indigenous culture, which ends on July 29th.

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