Arizona-Mexico Tourism

Indicators Tracking Tourism in Arizona and Measures Specific to Mexican Visitors

Arizona-Mexico Tourism Cost Index

The cost to Mexican visitors of traveling in Arizona's major metro areas has risen rapidly since mid-2014. The Arizona-Mexico Tourism Cost Index, calculated separately for the Phoenix metro and the Tucson metro, reflects costs likely faced by Mexican visitors to the state. The index is composed of three major components of tourism expenditures: hotel room rates, gasoline prices, and food away from home. All price data were seasonally adjusted then converted to Mexican pesos using the monthly U.S. dollar exchange rate. 

Phoenix MSA

Sources and notes: Hotel room rates used to calculate the index, Smith Travel Research (STR); Phoenix and Tucson metro regular unleaded gasoline price data, AAA; food away from home prices are for the nation as a whole, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; monthly U.S. dollar exchange rate, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. Index calculated by the Economic and Business Research Center.

Tucson MSA

Sources and notes: Hotel room rates used to calculate the index, Smith Travel Research (STR); Phoenix and Tucson metro regular unleaded gasoline price data, AAA; food away from home prices are for the nation as a whole, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; monthly U.S. dollar exchange rate, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. Index calculated by the Economic and Business Research Center.

Table view

Sources and notes: Hotel room rates used to calculate the index, Smith Travel Research (STR); Phoenix and Tucson metro regular unleaded gasoline price data, AAA; food away from home prices are for the nation as a whole, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; monthly U.S. dollar exchange rate, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. Index calculated by the Economic and Business Research Center.

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Mexico/U.S. Foreign Exchange Rate

The Mexico/U.S. foreign exchange rate has risen significantly since 2014, reaching an all-time high of 21.4 pesos per dollar in January 2017. While the dollar has declined modestly in recent months, it remains elevated. As the dollar rises against the peso, it becomes more expensive for Mexican visitors to shop in the United States. According to the most recent Mexican visitor’s survey, 57.4 percent of visitor parties identified shopping as the primary for their visit1.

Daily

Monthly

Trade Weighted

The Real Trade Weighted Value of the Dollar for Arizona is the inflation-adjusted value of the U.S. dollar against the currencies of countries to which the state exports. The real exchange rates are aggregated across countries for each state using the annual average export share to the country. For the most recent year where export share data is not available, the prior year's number is used instead. The indexes should allow analysts to more precisely identify the exchange rate movements that most affect demand for a state's exports. For more information visit the Federal Reserve website.

The Major Currencies Index is a total-trade (imports+exports) weighted average of the foreign exchange value of the U.S. dollar against a subset of the broad index currencies that circulate widely outside the country of issue. The averages of daily figures, this series is price adjusted. Major currencies index includes the Euro Area, Canada, Japan, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Australia, and Sweden. For more information about trade-weighted indexes see the Federal Reserve website.

The Broad Index is a total-trade (imports+exports) weighted average of the foreign exchange value of the U.S. dollar against the currencies of a broad group of major U.S. trading partners. The averages of daily figures, this series is price adjusted. Broad currency index includes the Euro Area, Canada, Japan, Mexico, China, United Kingdom, Taiwan, Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Brazil, Switzerland, Thailand, Philippines, Australia, Indonesia, India, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Sweden, Argentina, Venezuela, Chile and Colombia. For more information about trade-weighted indexes see the Federal Reserve website.

 

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Nonimmigrant Visas Issued

Applications for nonimmigrant visas are made at the consular office at the visitor’s place of residence. The table below displays all consular districts in Mexico that issue nonimmigrant visas. Visas can also be issued outside of the districts below, for example, a Mexican national residing in the United States with a valid visa can apply for change in visa status. The latter would not be included the figures below.

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Border Crossings

Pedestrians

Pedestrians are among the most frequent border crossers (along with bus passengers) and are predominantly day visitors as compared with vehicle passengers who tend to stay the night. In border communities adjacent to large cities on the Mexican side of the border such as Nogales, San Luis and Douglas, pedestrians cross frequently to work and shop. In total, approximately 54.3 percent of pedestrians crossing at Arizona BPOE cross for leisure purposes. The tables below display monthly and annual pedestrian crossings at Arizona BPOE.

Vehicle Passengers

Second to air travelers, Mexican visitor parties arriving by car are the most likely to come for leisure purposes at 71.8 percent. Moreover, approximately 19.0 percent of visitors who arrive by vehicle stay overnight, compared to 11.6 percent for pedestrians. The tables below display monthly and annual personal vehicle passenger crossings at Arizona BPOE.

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Employment in the Hospitality Sector, Hotel/Motel Sales, and Airport Statistics (Arizona and Metro Areas)

This section provides various tourism-related indicators for Arizona and the Phoenix and Tucson metro areas. The table below includes employment in leisure & hospitality including the following subsectors: arts, entertainment, and recreation; accommodation; and food services and drinking places. It also includes taxable sales in the hotel/motel sector for Arizona, and airline statistics for the Phoenix and Tucson international airports .

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Citations

1.  Pavlakovich-Kochi, V., & Charney, A. H. (2008). Mexican Visitors to Arizona: Visitor Characteristics and Economic Impacts, 2007-08. Economic and Business Research Center, Eller College of Management, University of Arizona.

Photo of backpack and hat at train station courtesy of Shutterstock.