A tourist sticking to resorts and cruise ship tours, but feeling guilty about the level of need in Mexico, may ask themselves, “Am I actually doing this country any good?”
Researchers at University of California Berkeley wondered that, too. Their conclusions should put those fears to rest.
Tourism has actually been an “unalloyed boon for our southern neighbor,” the Houston Chronicle’s Lydia DePillis writes, assuring would-be tourists that their dollars spent in Mexico do indeed reach everyday households.
Economic professors Ben Faber and Cecile Gaubert looked at the holistic impact of tourist destinations along Mexico’s coast, and found that both international and domestic tourism has added 4.4 percent to the average Mexican household’s real income.
In tourist zones, that’s more like 10 percent, in addition to a 2.8 percent boost in employment.
The study cites a tourism spillover effect onto local manufacturing, banking and consulting.
Tourism supplied 14.8 percent of gross domestic product in 2014, according to the World Tourism and Trade Council.
These numbers are probably replicated in other countries that have high levels of poverty and depend on tourism.
“So wherever the exotic location you’re off to, in a strictly economic sense, let your conscience rest easy,” writes DePillis.