INTERNATIONAL tourism to Mexico could jump as much 65% next year if the coronavirus crisis improves, and even a worst-case scenario would still bring more travelers than in 2020, Mexico’s tourism ministry said on Dec 27.

The pandemic has battered the travel industry worldwide, including Mexico’s popular beach resorts such as Cancun and Los Cabos. Just 25.9 million foreigners visited the country this year, 42% less than in 2019.

If the sector bounces back under an “optimistic” scenario, it could draw as many as 42.7 million people, representing some US$17.4 billion in spending.

A “conservative” view projects 34.5 million people generating US$15.6 billion, while a “pessimist” forecast is for 26.3 million people and US$13.8 billion.

“Even in the worst case the trend will be positive,“ the tourism ministry said in a statement.

The coronavirus crisis pushed Mexico’s economy into its steepest recession in decades, with the central bank forecasting that it will have shrunk between 8.7% and 9.3% in 2020. - Reuters