Mexico unbowed by hurricane setbacks

The force of Hurricane Wilma will not dent Mexico’s successful year as international arrivals are already substantially up compared with last year, according to the Mexico Tourism Board. Approximately 15 million international visitors were recorded from January to August 2005, representing a rise of more than 10% against the same period in 2004. Leading this growth is the UK market. It is estimated that 400,000 will have visited the country by the end of 2005, against 370,000 last year. Mexico Tourism Board regional director for the UK & Ireland Manuel Diaz Cebrian commented: "We were hit by Hurricane Emily earlier in the year and that did not dampen interest, so we do not think C&I organisers will stop pitching the destination as a result of Wilma. Cancun is undergoing huge investment and it will take only two months to get the region back on its feet." Initiatives for 2006 include work with ICCA and Site to target associations and corporates, along with fam trips. "We want to demonstrate that we have recovered," added Cebrian. "We will be focusing on Mexico City, Baja California and Monterrey."

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