Mexico City, May 7 (EFE).- Mexico plans to invest 180 billion pesos ($13.8 billion) in tourism infrastructure to turn the country into a global power in the industry, President Enrique Peña Nieto said.
"Mexico has everything necessary to become a tourism power at the global level," the president told industry leaders gathered at the 39th Tourism Fair in the Caribbean resort city of Cancun.
Travel agency representatives, tourism industry executives and officials from all levels of government listened as Peña Nieto discussed Mexico's advantages in terms of natural beauty, cultural offerings and historic sites.
"Today, Mexico is the No. 2 tourism destination in the Americas and the only Latin American country that ranks in the top 25 most-visited nations in the world," Peña Nieto said.
The government plans to pursue a three-pronged strategy to develop Mexico's tourism infrastructure.
The beaches and colonial districts in the country's main tourist destinations will be renovated, and the "magic towns" program will be expanded to 100 locations, the president said.
New offerings will be developed at Meso-American heritage sites, with sustainable areas being created in Chichen Itza, Palenque, Calakmul and Teotihuacan, while convention centers and 20 new public parks are built at Mexican beaches, Peña Nieto said.
The third element in the strategy is to modernize and refurbish Mexico's ports and airports to make them more attractive for arriving tourists, the president said.
Mexico welcomed 23.7 million foreign tourists in 2013, generating revenues of more than $13.8 billion, Peña Nieto said.