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Mexico Market Profile

Visit California opened its Mexico office in 2007 and launched brand advertising in 2013. Since then, Mexico has remained California’s undisputed No. 1 international market, responsible for more than 40 percent of all international trips to the Golden State annually. California’s southern neighbor is its biggest tourism driver, and Visit California continues to roll out the red carpet for Mexican travelers and leverage the state’s “everyone is welcome” culture to continue to entice visitors.


  • Travelers are driven by leisure and visiting friends/relatives
  • Increased long weekends provide California an opportunity with summer school holiday periods shortening
  • Mexican consumers are seeking new travel opportunities beyond the familiar shopping and theme park trips; greater interest in niche, experiential travel

  • Online video has become a key channel for consuming content



Mexico Profile

7.71 Million
In Person Trips, 2017
$3.1 Billion
Visitor Spending, 2017

Market Conditions

GDP Annual Growth Rate

The Mexican economy performed better than expected, with annual GDP growth at 2.3 percent. GDP is estimated to remain at 2.0 percent for 2018. Economic disruptions from two earthquakes, along with subdued consumer spending in the face of high inflation, drove the slowdown. However, activity is expected to bounce back in Q4 as reconstruction efforts boost construction and a favorable external environment drives exports.

Exchange Rate

  • 1 Mexico Peso Equals 0.052 U.S. Dollar
  • The Mexican peso recovered from the Trump Administration-induced tumble and is estimated to remain flat for 2018.


Travel & Planning Methodologies


  • 652 weekly nonstop flights
  • 102,838 weekly nonstop seats
  • Service to 11 California destinations
  • Lift to California has increased by more than 50 percent during the past five years.
  • CBX/Tijuana airport is the new gateway to California, with 1.9 million passengers in 2017. This represents more than 35 percent year-over-year increase in usage. CBX offers a cost efficient easy access point into California.


  • Planning timeframe: January–March, April–May, August–September
  • Booking timeframe: March, May–June, September–November
  • The main travel seasons are Easter (March or early April), Summer (mid-July through end of August), and Christmas (school holiday periods).
  • Approximately 46 percent book with airlines directly, closely followed by traditional travel agencies at 25 percent and online/OTAs at 22 percent.
  • More than 35 operators carry California vacation packages.

Market Barriers & Risk Factors

Competitive Landscape


*California spend includes digital

Other Market Insights


  • Travel is driven by leisure and visiting friends/relatives. Family travel continues to play a major role and multi-generational travel is key. Children influence the decision-making process.


  • Increased long weekend travel is an opportunity for California. Summer school holiday periods are shortening (only five weeks), leading to increases in long weekend travel.


  • Mexican consumers are looking to experience the familiar shopping and theme park trips mixed with new experiences and more hands-on opportunities.


  • Mexican consumers are heavy digital users that outsource their travel decision-making to trusted parties, engage in a different way of living while traveling, and look for new experiences enriched by digital media. They are also reward hunters. • Social media and video are key for consumer campaigns.



  • World Bank
  • Focus Economics
  • Adspend (no paid TV or digital reported)
  • DIIO
  • U.S. Department of Commerce
  • Tourism Economics
  • Carat CCS
  • VISA
  • Amadeus
  • CIC Research, Inc.