Lots of factors play into decline of Mexican travelers in Vail
VAIL — On the cobbled streets of this prosperous village, lilting Spanish will soon eclipse English as affluent Mexicans flood the valley for an annual pilgrimage that dates back decades. But this Semana Santa — Palm Sunday to Easter — may be a bit lighter than usual on Latinos.
High-end hoteliers are seeing rare April availability, and Vail Resorts is reporting a dip in ever-important Mexican travelers, as Canada boasts a surge in vacationers from Mexico.
While it may be easy to blame any downturn on President Donald Trump’s plans for a border wall and complaints about the crimes of immigrants living in the U.S. illegally, any dip in Mexican travelers coming to Vail is influenced by a stew of factors reaching beyond political rhetoric.
First, whenever Easter falls in the latter half of April — April 16 this year — fewer Mexicans choose to go skiing, a trend proven over decades. Second, the American dollar is strong and the value of an international vacation to, say, Canada, offers a better value. Third, the snowfall in Vail has been weak since January — and Mexicans, like any other powder hounds, aren’t afraid to break tradition to chase fresh snow. Fourth, Canada’s 70 percent spike in Mexican tourists in December probably has more to do with the country that month dropping a requirement for a tourist visa that had been in place since 2009, a move that prompted Aeromexico to add direct flights to the Great White North.