Foreign tourism to Mexico up 9 percent in 2016 as peso slumps

Mexican pesos and U.S. dollar banknotes are seen in this picture illustration, November 3, 2016. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - The number of international tourists in Mexican rose nine percent in 2016, a year in which the dollar gained around 20 percent against the peso.

Some 35 million international tourists visited Mexico last year compared to 32.1 million in 2015, the tourism ministry said on Monday.

Tourism is a major source of income for Mexico, bringing in $19.571 billion last year, 10.4 percent higher than the previous year, according to the figures.

It is also now one of its few bright spots of the economy as the country’s manufacturing sector hangs in the balance after Trump’s threats of a renegotiation or tearing up of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Mexico’s peso was bashed last year by the U.S. campaign and election of President Donald Trump.

Most tourists arrive by plane, 16.9 million, then by land mostly from the United States, 14.5 million, then 6.7 million by sea.

Reporting by Veronica Gomez and Miguel Angel Gutierrez; Editing by Alistair Bell