Mérida, Yucatán — If the city’s tourist areas seem more crowded these days, it’s not an illusion.
The city is estimated to close out 2017 with an increase in 200,000 tourists over last year. That growth rate is striking compared with 2016, when year-to-year tourist growth was around 10,000 additional visitors.
In 2016, tourism officials counted 1.262 million overnight visitors, a number already reached in August of this year.
With holidays coming up, tourists numbers will increase exponentially, said the Director of Tourism of the City of Mérida, Carolina Cárdenas Sosa.
Programs to “train” travel agents to sell Mérida as a destination have paid off, she said.
Tourist agent training continues at the end of October, when 70 agencies will send representatives for a four-night junket.
City officials have also gone on the road to promote Mérida, visiting travel bureaus in Monterrey, Guadalajara and Querétaro as well as Miami.
They sell Mérida not only as a destination, but also as a base of travel for other attractions such as Chichén Itzá.