Mexico is the country Americans visit the most

20 million visits to the country in 2012

UNITED STATES.- Every year, the Office of Tourism and Travel of the Commerce Department reveals statistics about where are Americans heading and through what way, and it seems they preferred Mexico this time around.

Or, specifically, they preferred Mexico in 2012. The Office's data crunching takes a couple of months to compile, so the figures are actually from 2012, showing travels in and outside the country from Americans.

About 20.3 million people traveled to Mexico during 2012, with more than half of those arriving via land, indicating border states played a significant role in the country's tourism efforts.

These numbers coincide with statistics from the Baja California State Tourism department, which showed hotel occupancy up and an increase in spending at restaurants/

Mexico, despite the deadly drug wars that have plagued it with severe violence, has actually seen a stable influx of people since 2004, with anywhere between 19 and 21 million traveling to the country.

There is a caveat to these figures showing people entering the country: not all of them are tourist, as a large portion of them are people traveling to see family regularly or during holidays, or simply Americans visiting border cities (like Tijuana).

Even so, part of this data signals both a stable recovery in the United States economy (travels to outside the continent increased too), and as a consequence, a recovery in the Mexican economy as well, although that 20.3 million figure is actually about 1% lower compared to previous years, but there is little variation overall.

These were the countries most visited by Americans in 2012:

    Mexico Canada France United Kingdom Dominican Republic Italy Germany Jamaica China Spain

*Via the Los Angeles Times

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