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Mexico, Brazil, and Argentina Are the Most Visited Countries in Latin America

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In the last five years, Latin America has hosted mega-sporting events like Rio de Janeiro's Summer Olympic Games in 2016 and FIFA World Cup in Brazil, in 2014. Such events lead to a compound average growth rate (CAGR) of 6% in the number of inbound arrivals from other regions. However, who are those tourists from other regions who come to Latin America?

The most significant group, in terms of numbers of trips and excluding Latin American themselves, are tourists from the USA and Canada, followed by some European countries. It is worth mentioning that there has been a high average annual growth rate in the number of travelers from China in the last years.

The solid participation of the USA in Latin-American tourism is related to its proximity to Mexico. European tourists, on the other hand, choose Latin-American destinations – with Brazil among them – because they consider such places exotic and relatively cheap. And China has been sending more and more tourists to Latin America due to business travel, but also due to the same reason why they send tourists to the rest of the world:  the rise of the middle class that is more and more willing to spend money, and this includes traveling.

Source: Euromonitor International

Note: The chart excludes traveling among Latin-American countries.


Which Latin-American countries are leading the inbound tourism ranking?

Mexico is the leader of inbound tourism in the area due to the flow of tourists from the USA, with Brazil and Argentina respectively in second and third place. It is worth noticing the expressive growth in the number of trips to countries like Chile and Colombia, which presented a much higher CAGR than the other fifteen major destinations of the region. Both countries have tourism incentive programs from the government with great structures. They are Procolombia in Colombia, and Chile Travel and Chile es TUYO in Chile.

For the next years, the inbound tourism in Latin America is expected to continue to grow with a 4% CAGR in the number of arrivals until 2022, mainly stimulated by the development of travel promotion and incentive programs in countries like Peru, Colombia, and Chile. Furthermore, the profile of foreign tourists traveling to Latin-American destinations is supposed to improve as they start to increase their average spend per trip. Consequently, it is estimated that in 2022, total value sales generated by inbound arrivals to the region will surpass $111 billion.


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