Latin America Tourism: Waiting for the Vaccine

Cancun, the top tourism spot in Mexico, the largest tourism market in Latin America. (Photo: Benito Juarez  Ayuntamiento)

This year’s crisis comes after growth in arrivals and receipts last year.


Latin America’s tourism sector – hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic impact – is hoping for a strong recovery next year when a vaccine is available.

Enrique de la Madrid, Mexico’s former tourism minister, told Milenio newspaper that he expects the recovery to be slow, depending on the rollout of vaccines.

Last year, Mexico was the clear winner both in arrival and receipt growth – both at 9 percent. Both results were better than the Latin American growth overall, which stood at 3.3 percent for arrivals and 4.6 percent for receipts.

Mexico continues to dominate tourism in Latin America, accounting for 38 percent of arrivals and 24 percent of receipts, according to Latinvex analysis of data from the World Tourism Organization.

Below, we provide links to the key results for Latin American tourism last year.


Latin America Tourism (2019): Average Expenditure per Visitor

Latin America Tourism (2019): Receipts

Latin America Tourism (2019): Receipt Winners & Losers

Latin America Tourism (2019): Receipts-GDP Ratio

Latin America Tourism (2019): Arrivals 

Latin America Tourism (2019): Arrival Winner & Losers 

Latin America Tourism (2019): Arrival-Population Ratio