I commented on my trends postings here and here for the Vallarta real estate market that we could be seeing an increase in the number of Canadians and nationals interested in real estate. Well, the recently ruling that Mexicans now require a visa to enter Canada, may have many Mexicans staying home, or near home.
Mexican nationals will now need a visa to travel to Canada, that country’s minister of citizenship, immigration and multiculturalism, Jason Kenney, announced Monday. Canada decided to stiffen the requirements due to what officials said has been a surge in claims for refugee status by Mexicans. LA Times
This has caused havoc for many Mexicans who had Canadian vacations planned, summer camps and even entering private schools or universities in the fall. And, understandably, they are not pleased about this ruling. The Mexican government retaliated by saying that Canadian officials and dignitaries will now need visas. They didn’t go so far as to say Canadian tourists will need a visa (thankfully), however.
Perhaps the recent trend towards “staycations” in the USA, where more Americans are deciding to just stay home for their vacation, will now pass over to Mexico as well. With the visa now necessary for both the USA and Canada, rather than go through the frustration of getting a visa, they may decide to just stay within Mexico and get to know their country better. At Mexico Boutique Hotels, there was an immediate noticeable increase in reservations, said director Sylvie Laitre. “Reservations had been slow for us, ever since the swine flu scare, but they picked up dramatically for national bookings with this announcement,” she confirmed.
Why did Canada decide to do this?
Refugee claims from Mexico have almost tripled since 2005, making it the number one source country for claims. In 2008, more than 9,400 claims filed in Canada came from Mexican nationals, representing 25 per cent of all claims received. Of the Mexican claims reviewed and finalized in 2008 by the Immigration and Refugee Board, an independent administrative tribunal, only 11 per cent were accepted.
“In addition to creating significant delays and spiraling new costs in our refugee program, the sheer volume of these claims is undermining our ability to help people fleeing real persecution,” said Minister Kenney. “All too often, people who really need Canada’s protection find themselves in a long line, waiting for months and sometimes years to have their claims heard. This is unacceptable.”
Hotels are quite full these days, with the national holidays, and you can see it in the increase in traffic and the number of people walking the Malecon. I’ve already heard of realtors talking about an increase in interest by nationals for real estate in the Puerto Vallarta area. We certainly have enough available condos for sale to accommodate them!