Mexico sees $3.5 bn foreign investment in tourism over 3 years

April 15th, 2011 - 11:37 am ICT by IANS  

Mexico City, April 15 (IANS/EFE) Mexican authorities have predicted foreign investment in the tourism sector amounting to about $3.5 billion over the next three years, a capital inflow that will create about 20,000 jobs.

The investments come mainly from Spanish, German and Asian companies, Economy Secretary Bruno Ferrari and Tourism Secretary Gloria Guevara said at a press conference Thursday.

The tourism chief said that now “there exists a committed investment of $2.5 billion”, and that another $1 billion “will be arriving at the proper time”.

She added that hotel groups like Melia and Barcelo had confirmed that they will continue with the construction of hospitality centres in the country.

The ministers announced the progress on the National Tourism Accord, signed in February by Mexican President Felipe Calderon, the private sector and the unions with the aim of promoting the tourist industry.

“We’re working with investments to support small and medium business,” Ferrari said.

The economy secretary said that the financing for micro, small and medium tourist businesses had been increased by commercial banks and other financial intermediaries, and it is expected that 2 billion pesos (about $170 million) in loans will be given to support some 1,000 small and medium businesses in the sector.

Ferrari noted that the tourism industry is the country’s third-largest source of income, representing 9 percent of the gross domestic product and is “a great potential and opportunity for Mexico’s economic growth”.

The ministers denied, however, that the country’s image abroad is being seriously affected by the violence from the ongoing drug war and the recent finding of 120 bodies in mass graves in the municipality of San Fernando, in the northern border state of Tamaulipas.

–IANS/EFE
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