Korean tourism in the Mexican Caribbean decreases due to crime, sargassum, and lack of guides


However, for years there was talk of the need for new market segments for the country and the Mexican Caribbean such as Asian tourism, the actions to encourage their presence have not been fully realized. An example is South Korea’s tourism, with high purchasing power, which has dropped three points on the subject of crime, sargassum and the lack of professionals who speak the language, warned Bernardo X Avila, commercial director of Hankyul Tour & Travel (HK Tour ), a company that is exclusively dedicated to bringing this segment of tourism.

HK Tour is a company that has six years in the destination, bringing to Cancun and Riviera Maya, only tourism from South Korea, and that last year handled 52 thousand visitors who usually visit 5 star Plus hotels.

However, since last year and 2019 they expect a three-digit decrease in their presence in the Mexican Caribbean, for various reasons, one of them is that companies do not find tourist guides and translators in the entity, so they say they should have more training in this segment, both in language and culture.

They also stress the need for more awareness of airport authorities, as agencies must bring their own translators and guides from South Korea, but they find many bureaucratic obstacles to obtain permits for these people to enter. to the country, especially at the airport.

“We use boys as interpreters and the procedures are very tedious and very long, it takes a lot. It currently takes an average of 6 months, which previously took a month. We would like you to support us because tourism can also end. And like everything affected, the sargassum has also had its effect, because the smell is annoying, although it is a tourist that don’t usually swim in the sea. If you take many photos on the beaches, then with the beaches with sargassum we are carrying bad publicity and in the long run there is an affectation, ”explained the tourist.

“95 percent of the tourism that comes, is honeymoon tourism in the age range of 30 to 40 years because the Asian marries a little late compared to other cultures or communities. They like the sun very much and they are very attracted to the Caribbean, they like to see it and take many photos, even if they are not one of those who sunbathe or spend it on the beach ”, detailed Ávila.

Asians love the all-inclusive plan, visiting archeological sites because they like culture. They are also very adventurous so they look for experiences that excite them. They visit Chichen Itza and go a lot to Isla Mujeres. They also like to visit cenotes, tours with zip lines.


They have an average stay of 6 to 7 nights, they also like to buy branded items, they are very fashionable and here they find where to go and acquire what they like.

As they come from honeymoon, they like to enjoy the hotel, especially at night take advantage of dinners in the theme restaurants, they stay in the hotel because they enjoy it, they like to experiment, they like Mexican food and are fans of cuts of meat and seafood so they also go out to eat at the good restaurants that exist in Cancun.

Sectur wanted to increase the number of Asian tourists and this is the reason

The creation of “anchor products”, as part of the current administration’s tourism policy, seeks to enhance the arrival of Asian visitors. The government’s tourism policy seeks to diversify the nationality of those who arrive in Mexico. And he has set his sights on the Asian continent.

During the first quarter of the year, Mexico received 5.4 million foreign tourists by air, according to figures from the Ministry of the Interior. Of these, only 3% came from the Asian continent. In total, 183,292 visitors, especially from China (50,065) and Japan (41,008 people). Tourists from all over America and Europe accounted for 85% and 11%, respectively, of the total that landed in Mexico.

But the Ministry of Tourism (Sectur) is convinced that there is a lot of potential in the east. Its Director, Miguel Torruco, recently pointed out that they work with China to promote the transit of tourists between both nations, as the Asian giant has the potential to issue 124 million travelers this year, of which 22 million are of high purchasing power.

This factor has caught the attention of the Mexican government. In the first quarter, the average spending of hospitalization tourists, those who spend more than one night in a hotel, amounted to $ 980.2, 13.8% more than in the same period of the previous year, according to Sectur figures. But the expenditure of Asian tourists doubles, on average, this amount. ( Only four travel agencies in Mexico have the Chinese Seal certificate ).

“Some countries in Asia, especially Japan, have had growth in their income levels and have allocated a greater amount of them for holiday tourism. There has been a tendency to route their preferences to Latin America and, in the case of Mexico, because Mexican beaches are ranked as the best in the world, especially in the part of the Riviera Maya, Los Cabos and Sea of Cortez, ”says Álvaro Vargas Briones, Finance expert, and EBC professor.

According to César Ramírez, a leading partner in the tourism sector at KPMG Mexico, the country is among the top ten places in the world in terms of international tourist arrivals; however, for income until 2017 it was in position 15, according to the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), so it is relevant to increase visitor spending.

“In number of visitors we are in first places, but we are looking to attract more people and spend more, so we seek a higher purchasing power,” he says.

The specialist points out that it is not just that the Asian tourist is the one who leaves the most average spending in Mexico, the policy of attracting it corresponds to the trend that has been seen of an increase in his arrival to Mexican destinations, especially those that correspond to tourism (Riviera Maya) and investments (El Bajío) and Pacific Coast destinations.

Source: nitu

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