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Mexican Tourism Fund To Generate 2009 Investment Of MXN12.3 Billion

MEXICO CITY -(Dow Jones)- Mexico's National Tourism Development Fund expects to generate 12.3 billion pesos ($883 million) of public and private investment in tourism projects this year as the government aims to limit the local impact of the global financial crisis.

The investments will follow MXN12.6 billion channeled into tourism development during the previous two years,
said Miguel Gomez-Mont, director of Fonatur, as the fund is called.

As the world economy has slipped into crisis in recent months and credit has become harder to obtain, a number of planned investments in Mexican tourism have been canceled or delayed, Gomez-Mont said at a press conference.

"That happens in every crisis - there are worries," he said, adding that some of the canceled investments have been replaced with new ones, and that no major projects have been stopped.

But Gomez-Mont said expected growth in tourism, despite the crisis, could be a counterweight to some of the pressure Mexico is feeling amid the global slowdown.

"Mexico has great potential because it benefits from substitutive tourism," he said, referring to the preference of budget-strapped travelers during times of economic crisis to take vacations in relatively cheap destinations closer to home.

Tourism is a major source of foreign currency inflows to Mexico, with income of $12.1 billion for the January to November period of last year, according to the Bank of Mexico.

Author:
Paul Kiernan
Dow Jones Newswires