TOURISM officials are suggesting that Mexico could become a world leader in religious tourism, reports the Mexico News Daily.
Representatives of business organizations told a press conference this week that religious tourism is growing between 5 and 7% annually, and that Mexico now captures about 10% of the world market.
The World Tourism Organization estimates that some 300 million people travel every year for religious reasons, and that Mexico receives 35 million of them.
Many of those are drawn to the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Tepeyac, in the north of Mexico City, the most visited shrine in the world. Annual visits total about 20 million, and 7 million of those arrive in early December, leading up to the feast day of the Virgin of Guadalupe, December 12.