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Mexico Wants To Draw U.S.'s Aging Population

Mexico’s grown into one of the top tourism destinations in the world, especially for American tourists seeking travel and adventure. But at the Arizona Mexico Commission in Puerto Peñasco this week, tourism officials said now they’re focusing on older American tourists.

Mexico draws about 35 million tourists a year, each spending an average of $550. A top tourism official says the country wants to increase that by targeting the U.S.’s aging population, assisted living tourism.

Teresa Solis, undersecretary for tourism planning, spoke at the annual Arizona Mexico Commission’s summit in Puerto Peñasco.

"We know that there are many restrictions from insurance companies to have services in Mexico but we also know that there are many people who do not have an adequate coverage of medical services in the states who could find in Mexico a good opportunity," said Solis.

She said about 2 million Americans travel to Mexico every year seeking some sort of medical coverage. While states like Jalisco and Guanajuato are popular with American ex-pats needing care, she said the country’s northern states like Sonora are drawing those patients as well.

Fronteras Desk senior editor Michel Marizco is an award-winning investigative reporter based in Flagstaff.