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Mexico turns to tourism in midst of crisis

Mexico is counting on its weakened currency against the dollar and its proximity to the U.S. to attract recession-shocked Americans and fuel its tourism industry—a major source of foreign income.

Tourism officials say Mexico saw 3 percent more visitors who spent an estimated 4 percent more in 2008, with tourists flocking to its beaches and cobble-stoned streets even during the global economic crisis. And, unlike most tourist destinations around the world, there is no sign that this year will be any different.

Cancun, Mexico's top beach destination, had an occupancy rate of more than 90 percent during the holiday season and officials expect at least 85 percent of the Caribbean resort's 31,000 rooms to be occupied during the winter months.

Mexico turns to tourism in midst of crisis

Associated Press Writer