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Mexico may drop out of top 10 tourist destinations

March 20, 2013|By Hugo Martin
  • Luis Acosta / AFP/Getty Images
Luis Acosta / AFP/Getty Images (kjjtanc20090512173918/500/500x343 )

Mexico ranked 10th among the world's most popular tourist destinations, according to the latest estimate by a United Nations agency.

But the country's head of tourism said she fears Mexico might drop a couple of spots, falling out of the top 10 list.

"We have indications that we may drop one or two places, but we're not sure because the figures aren't ours, they are from the World Tourism Organization," Mexico's Tourism Secretary Claudia Ruiz Massieu told the Associated Press Monday.

The World Tourism Organization estimated Mexico welcomed 23.4 million international visitors in 2011, a 0.5% increase from the previous year.

Massieu did not say why she believes Mexico may drop from the top 10 list but tourism experts say the country's continuing drug violence is playing a role in keeping tourists away.

In February, six Spanish tourists on vacation in Acapulco were raped by masked men.

Unlike many crimes involving drug violence in the country's interior states, the rapes took place near the beach, where the tourists were renting bungalows near four-star hotels.

"It doesn't matter if Mexico is safe or not because the perception is they are not," Carl Winston, director of the school of hospitality and tourism at San Diego State University, said after the February incident.

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