Texas

South Texas lawmakers call on Congress to boost US international tourism

HARLINGEN, TX (ValleyCentral) — Two Texas lawmakers have called on Congress to help restore Mexican tourism to the United States.

U.S. House of Representatives Henry Cuellar, Democrat, and Michael McCall, Republican, introduced a bill on Thursday that they called the “Bipartisan U.S.-Mexico Tourism Improvement Act” to increase cooperation between the two countries to restore tourism after the disruption created. due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In particular, the bill aims to:

  • strengthen bilateral tourism between the US and Mexico;
  • improve third-party tourism to both countries through joint promotional efforts;
  • And to prioritize and expand the hospitality, retail and cultural education sectors in both countries.

“The United States is the top destination for Mexican travelers,” Cuellar said. “Tourism between our two countries is an important economic driver for our state’s economy, especially in South Texas.”

In 2021, 10.4 million Mexicans visited the United States and spent about $11.7 billion, according to Cuellar’s office. Despite accounting for 47 percent of total foreign travelers to the United States, Mexican tourism figures were 42 percent below 2019 levels.

McCall agreed that tourism is a vital industry both here and in Mexico.

“It is imperative that we work closely with our neighbor to the south to advance this industry in a win-win manner,” McCall said.

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