Mexican tourists are avoiding the United States as an Easter vacation destination amid perceptions of anti-Mexican sentiment north of the border.
An estimate by global research firm Tourism Economics found that Mexican tourism to the United States will drop by 7 percent, the Los Angeles Times reported.
According to the report, Mexicans will take 1.8 fewer trips to the United States compared with 2016, prompting a direct economic loss of $1.1 billion.
Tourism Economics also predicted the downward trend will continue in 2018, with 2.6 million fewer trips and a loss of $1.6 billion.
Mexicans are incensed at President Trump’s immigration and trade proposals, especially his proposed border wall and push to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement.
“They don’t feel welcome,” Edgar Solis, the president of the Metropolitan Association of Travel Agencies in Mexico City, told the Times. “In Mexico there’s a dislike of the administration and that’s created a reduction of passengers to the U.S.”
Many Mexicans also blame Trump’s campaign rhetoric for allegedly increasing or normalizing anti-Mexican attitudes among everyday Americans.
And despite a recent uptick, the value of the peso against the dollar dropped nearly 20 percent between November and March, making purchases in dollars more expensive for Mexicans.
According to Solis, the trend is a net gain for the Mexican economy, as travelers choose domestic destinations that benefit from their patronage.
Holy Week and Easter week are widely observed in the majority-Catholic country; they’re the most popular travel dates for many Mexican families.