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June 13, 2018

Mexico Hopes 2026 World Cup Will Boost Tourism

Photo by Nikolas Antoniou/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Mexico, the United States and Canada have been selected to host the 2026 World Cup, and the Mexico Tourism Board (MTB) says that it hopes the event will bring a new spotlight to the country’s tourism sector. 2026 will mark the third time the major sporting event has taken place in Mexico, and it will be the first time 48 teams play 80 matches in a World Cup, making it the largest tournament in history, according to the MTB. Mexico will host ten matches in three cities: Guadalajara, Monterrey and Mexico City

The last World Cups in Mexico took place in 1970 and 1986. The MTB said that the opportunity demonstrates FIFA's confidence in the infrastructure, logistics and quality of service that Mexico has to offer. According to a study conducted by FIFA, the countries of Mexico, United States, and Canada can expect $14.3 billion in revenue as a result. The event will also bring sports fans into contact with the country’s tourist attractions. 

Named by the New York Times as the best city to visit in 2015, Mexico City has a UNESCO World Heritage Site historical center, as well as a total of 170 museums and 43 galleries, places second only to London in number of museums. The destination is also known for its gastronomy, ranging from street food to haute cuisine. 

Guadalajara is the second largest city in the country and is frequently named as one of the best places to visit in Mexico. Known as the land of tequila and mariachi, other cultural attractions in the city include charrería and folkloric dances. The city is also home to modern architecture and technology. 

For nature lovers, Monterrey provides mountainous landscapes, such as the Cerro de la Silla, Cerro de las Mitras and La Sierra Madre. The landscape is also dotted with thermal springs, museums and historical sites.

In recent years, Mexico has gone from being the fifteenth most visited destination in 2013, to the sixth in 2017, which represents a growth of more than 62 percent, the MTB said. The country welcomed 39.3 million tourists last year, an increase of 12 percent when compared to 2016. These numbers include sports lovers who attended events such as the Formula 1 Grand Prix, NFL, MLB, and NBA games and the Tennis Open in Acapulco.

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