Visa Inc. Data Shows Increase in Mexico Inbound Tourism Spending During 2010

Mexico’s Tourism Industry Proves Resilient through Global and Domestic Uncertainty

SAN FRANCISCO--()--Spending by international Visa cardholders traveling to Mexico rose by 12 percent from 2009 to 2010 according Tourism Outlook: Mexico, an annual report released today by Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) that analyzed Visa cardholder spending over the past two years. According to the report, the tourism industry in Mexico saw international Visa cardholder spending increase from $4 billion in 2009 to $4.4 billion in 2010, proving the resiliency of Mexico’s tourism industry despite global and domestic hurdles.

“Mexico has continued to make its mark on the global tourism landscape as a sought after destination,” said Eduardo Coello, Country Manager, Mexico, Visa Inc. “Over the past few years, Visa has worked closely with organizations within the Mexican tourism industry to analyze proprietary Visa spend data to help prioritize tourism policy and implement business and marketing practices that will best attract visitors and strengthen tourism competitiveness.”

Where Visitors Come From

According to VisaVue travel data, travelers from the United States remained the strongest contributors to Mexico tourism revenue during 2010. American travelers spent more than $3.1 billion on their Visa cards while traveling within Mexico in 2010, a seven percent increase over the previous year. Other significant contributors to Mexico’s tourism revenue during 2010 were travelers from Canada ($538 million), Spain ($102 million), France ($89.8 million), and the United Kingdom ($83.3 million).

Of the top 25 inbound source countries, Mexico saw the biggest year-over-year growth from South American travelers in 2010. Visitors from Brazil had the largest year-over-year increase at 85 percent, followed by Colombia (62%) and Argentina (53%).

Top 2010 Inbound Source Countries, Based on Visa Payment Card Transactions


Source Country






Percent Growth (+/-)

United States

$3.1B $2.9B 7%


$538M $445M 21%


$102M $88.3M 16%


$89.8M $78.2M 15%

United Kingdom

$83.3M $65.2M 28%


$54.5M $29.5M 85%


$43.3M $35.6M 22%


$32.8M $28.0M 17%


$26.4M $21.0M 26%


$24.9M $16.3M 53%

Once arriving in Mexico, international travelers used their Visa cards on general retail purchases such as clothing and food, which accounted for approximately 51 percent of all purchases on Visa cards, totaling nearly $2.3 billion. Other major merchant segments included lodging (17%), other travel and entertainment (7%), restaurants (5%), and airlines (4%).

Tourism Impact: Mexico in Recovery

Even in the face of a global economic crisis, Mexico’s tourism industry started recognizing tremendous improvement beginning in May 2010, when international travelers using their Visa cards spent 44 percent more compared to the same time period in 2009. This continued through the summer months, just as the Mexican government lifted the swine flu alert in June. Tourism spending increased 18 percent in June and 11 percent more in July.

As the Mexican tourism industry continues its upward trajectory, Visa is committed to supporting its growth by providing a secure and reliable digital currency for cross-border transactions and access to millions of cardholders globally. Visa will also continue to partner with the Mexican tourism industry to provide relevant spending data to help them take advantage of new tourism opportunities.

For more information on VisaVue travel data or to view a complete copy of the Tourism Outlook: Mexico report, please visit

About Tourism Outlook: Mexico

Visa cardholder spending data cited is based upon VisaVue® Travel data, which reviews tourism spending on Visa-branded payment cards by international visitors from key source countries while visiting Mexico during the calendar years 2010 (Jan. 1 – Dec. 31, 2010) and 2009 (Jan. 1 – Dec. 31, 2009). These findings are based upon VisaVue® Travel data. Visa introduced the VisaVue® Travel tourism reports to a pilot group of U.S. tourism organizations in early 2008 and have continued to produce reports on a variety of popular tourist destinations every year since.

About Visa

Visa is a global payments technology company that connects consumers, businesses, financial institutions and governments in more than 200 countries and territories to fast, secure and reliable digital currency. Underpinning digital currency is one of the world’s most advanced processing networks—VisaNet—that is capable of handling more than 20,000 transaction messages a second, with fraud protection for consumers and guaranteed payment for merchants. Visa is not a bank and does not issue cards, extend credit or set rates and fees for consumers. Visa’s innovations, however, enable its financial institution customers to offer consumers more choices: pay now with debit, ahead of time with prepaid or later with credit products. For more information, visit


Danielle Coan, 415-318-4104


Danielle Coan, 415-318-4104