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



Travel Profile

7.9 Million
In Person Trips, 2016
$3.2 Billion
Visitor Spending, 2016

Market Conditions

GDP Annual Growth Rate

Mexico is a growing economic powerhouse, particularly in the energy, electronics, automobile and consumer goods manufacturing sectors. Mexico’s economic outlook looks good, with GDP growth expected to accelerate and unemployment to decline at the end of 2016 as structural reforms take effect and facilitate foreign investments. Analysts expect GDP to close at 2.4 percent at the end of 2016. Mexican carriers continue to gain market share in the international market: For the first time in many years, the home carriers achieved more than 30 percent of total international traffic.


Exchange Rate

The Mexican peso reached a record high of 20.77 in November 2016. Additionally, activities such as shopping and extra spending could be impacted with the higher cost with the record high exchange rate.

Check current exchange rates on:


Travel & Planning Methodologies


  • 530 weekly flights
  • 83,684 weekly seats to California
  • Nonstop service to 11 California destinations and connecting flights are mainly through Houston, Dallas, Phoenix


  • Planning cycle – January-March, April-May, August-September. Booking pattern March, May-June, September-November
  • Main travel seasons are Easter (March or early April), Summer (mid-July-end August), Christmas (correspond with school holiday periods)
  • Approximately 46 percent book with airlines directly, closely followed by traditional travel agencies at 25 percent and online/online travel agencies at 22 percent
  • Over 35 operators carry California vacation packages


Market Barriers & Risk Factors


  • U.S. Department of Commerce
  • Tourism Economics 
  • CIC Research, Inc. 
  • International Monetary Fund
  • DGAC
  • Adspen / Ibope / Nielsen
  • Carat CCS

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