The Mexican tourism industry is already referring to this year's summer period as 'lost' as tourists stay away in large numbers and H1N1 flu-related fears decimate the country's main resorts in a manner that few
hurricanes have ever been able to.
Mexican Tourism Minister Rodolfo Elizondo now believes that the country may have to wait as long as December before the tourists come back, so wiping out the key summer season when millions of Americans and Europeans traditionally escape to Mexican beaches.
The Mexican tourism industry is blaming the downturn on the various travel alerts that were issued by key countries which traditionally supply a large proportion of its tourists, including the US, Britain and Canada.
Tourism is one of Mexico's top sources of foreign currency, accounting for about 8% of the economy. The sector employs about 2m people across the country. In the travel retail sector, Dufry and Aldeasa will feel some of the chill from this with their various airport and port outlets.
Minister Elizondo now fears that revenue from foreign tourists could drop by nearly a third this year, costing the industry some $4bn – the biggest drop since historic records have been kept.
Mexico's Health and Tourism ministries have both long maintained that the countries resorts pose no risk to tourists, but it seems that for the moment at least, the tourists are not listening.