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Foreign tourists boost Mexico's numbers

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Foreign tourists boost Mexico's numbers

Foreign tourists boost Mexico's numbers

LAS CRUCES, N.M. -- Foreign tourists visited Mexico in record numbers in 2011, according to a report released this week by Mexico's Secretary of Tourism. But visits from Americans are lagging.

More than 22 million foreigners visited Mexico last year, the highest since that country began keeping track in 1980. American tourism to Mexico dropped 3 percent, while visitors from Brazil, Russia and China increased.

The 2011 figures were released just days after the U.S. State Department expanded its ongoing travel warning for Mexico. Drug violence in Mexico has spread from the border region to the center of the country, and 120 Americans died in Mexico last year, compared to 35 in 2007.

Mexico remains among the Top 10 most-visited tourist destinations in the world.