Addressing a group of luxury travel specialists at the annual Virtuoso Overseas Symposium, Mexico President Felipe Calderón Hinojosa emphasized his country’s commitment to tourism.

Tourism has been identified as a major focus by the Calderón administration, including niche areas of luxury and ecotourism.   In the opening meeting of the Virtuoso Overseas Symposium in Mexico City on April 15, Calderon reminded attendees that his administration annually invests more than $5 billion in the tourism industry.

Accompanied by the newly appointed Mexico Secretary of Tourism, Gloria Guevara Manzo, as well as the CEO of Virtuoso, Matthew Upchurch, Calderón confirmed that the tourism industry is paramount for Mexico’s economy and is one of the primary generators of employment in the country. 

“Mexico can and will be an economic powerhouse when it comes to services,” said Calderón.  “As our economy continues to evolve, the financial and tourist services industries will be the engines of our economy in the future.  For this reason we are betting heavily on tourism.”

Thirteen percent of all international tourists that visit Mexican destinations are part of the luxury travel segment.  According to Virtuoso Luxe Travel Report, Mexico is one of the most popular destinations for luxury travel in the world, second only to Italy.  The country offers 111 hotels in the four-star category, 12 in the five-star category and 50 four-star restaurants.

Calderon also reiterated his administration’s commitment to the safety of tourists.

“Mexico has a government committed to the safety of its visitors and citizens,” said Calderon.  “Its citizens are eager to show their generosity and hospitality to any friend from any part of the world.”  

Virtuoso’s Overseas Symposium gathers the world’s most prominent luxury travel executives annually.  Held this year in Mexico City, April 15 – 18, more than 400 executives from travel agencies, cruise lines and hotels within Virtuoso’s luxury travel network attended the symposium.