New Tourism Law

July 12, 2009
New Tourism Law

A new General Law of Tourism (Ley General de Turismo) was published in the Official Journal of the Federation on June 18,2009. The new Law is designed to delineate the authority of the Mexican Executive branch, States, Municipalities and theFederal District, as well as to coordinate the participation of the public and private sectors in ways that will benefit all of Mexicoover the short, medium and long terms. The Law is fundamentally organic, and its contents geared to be programmaticallyorganized. In this way, the Law establishes that Mexico’s Department of Tourism (Secretaria de Turismo) will modernize,within a year from the date the law becomes effective, the structure of the National Tourism Registry that has existed since theformer law was passed, so that tourism service providers will have one year from entry into force of the new Law to registerthemselves in the National Tourism Registry. This will allow for the creation of a public catalog of tourism services providersthat may be consulted openly, and will provide more certainty and regulation in the tourism sector. In addition, the Lawmentions that the Department of Tourism will issue regulations within 180 calendar days following the day the Law entered intoforce, which will include an administrative restructuring of the agency, adding that the states and Federal District should adapttheir legislation to the new law. It appears the Law lacks sanctions and the means necessary to make it effective, and thusappears merely a programmatic instrument at the government level to allow officials to emphasize the government’s tourismrelated principles and objectives. At the state and municipal levels, voices in opposition to the Law has arisen, including as is thecase of the Federal District, the possibility that a protest can be initiated against the law based on constitutional grounds stating that the Mexican Federal Congress does not have the authority to obligate the states and Federal District to amend their ownlegislation to accord with the terms of the new General Tourism Law.

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