Visa waiver helps boost tourism in LatAm trade bloc

Source: Xinhua| 2017-10-29 06:59:54|Editor: Zhou Xin
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LIMA, Oct. 28 (Xinhua) -- A growing number of Peruvians are choosing to vacation in Mexico's Caribbean resort of Cancun, a direct result of the economic benefits brought about by Latin American trade bloc the Pacific Alliance, the head of Lima's Convention and Visitors Bureau said on Saturday.

Carlos Canales credited the rise in Peru-Mexico tourism flows to a visa waiver adopted in 2012 as part of the trade agreements, which called for the free flow of people in the four-nation bloc that also includes Colombia and Chile.

"Before, those who couldn't get a visa to Mexico, would go to the Dominican Republic, Colombia or Panama," Canales told Xinhua.

In the past five years, Peruvian tourism to Mexico and Mexican tourism to Peru have gradually increased, he said.

"In Mexico, Peruvian tourists number nearly 80,000, and inbound (travel from Mexico) has increased a lot as well. By 2018, we will be on the verge of 100,000 tourists," said Canales.

Peru's expanding middle class and growing purchasing power are helping to drive outbound tourism and curb emigration, he said.

"Currently, there are four million tourists abroad who no longer go to stay in the countries they visit," he added.

Lima is hosting its first ever International Tourism Fair through Sunday and a notable number of Mexican companies are participating, along with others from Argentina, Brazil, Spain, the United States, Jordan, Russia and more.

The Pacific Alliance represents a market of 225 million consumers, according to official statistics.