Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson will travel to Mexico City and Monterrey next week, his first international trip since taking office in 2019.
Johnson will travel to the Mexican capital on Monday and return to Dallas on Thursday from Monterrey. The mayor will meet with Mexican government officials and local business leaders to promote ties with Dallas.
In Mexico City, he will meet Roberto Velasco Álvarez, Mexico’s foreign affairs chief for North America. He will also meet with Mexican tourism secretary Miguel Torruco and economy secretary Tatiana Clougheri Carrillo, the mayor’s office confirmed.
Johnson will visit Monterrey and meet with Mayor Luis Donaldo Colosio Riojas and Nuevo Leon Governor Samuel García Sepúlveda.
“This trip comes at the right time. After enduring two difficult pandemic years, Dallas is back – and we want the world to know it,” Johnson said in a press release. “I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to visit the great cities of Mexico City and Monterrey. And I’m confident that our time in both cities will help our city build new relationships and strengthen long-standing bonds.
The Consul General of Mexico in Dallas, Francisco de la Torre, will accompany the mayor throughout his trip.
“I am thrilled that Mayor Johnson’s first official international trip will be to Mexico, visiting Mexico City and Monterrey – two of Dallas’ major business partners,” de la Torre said. “This trip is especially important because of the sister city relationship between Monterrey and Dallas.”
Johnson’s trip follows moves to restore trade ties between cities in Texas after the pandemic. The Mexico-US border has been closed to visitors for 19 months due to COVID-19 restrictions.
In 2019, Mexican tourists spent nearly $460 million when traveling to Dallas, according to Visit Dallas, an organization that promotes tourism in Dallas. This accounted for 44% of international visitor spending in North Texas that year.
According to the Dallas Regional Chamber, trade between the Dallas area and Mexico totaled nearly $1.5 billion in 2021.
Trade ties between Mexico and the Dallas-Fort Worth area have grown significantly over the past few decades.
Companies such as telecommunications conglomerate AT&T, snack maker Frito Lay and cosmetics company Mary Kay have multi-million dollar subsidiaries and investments in Mexico.
In addition, Mexican companies such as tortilla maker Gruma/Mission Foods and Vitro, a glassmaker based in the Monterrey metropolitan area, have established their headquarters in North Texas.
In recent years, companies such as Cinepolis, a Mexican movie theater chain, and KidZania from Mexico City have moved their headquarters to the Dallas area.
According to the Mexican Consulate in Dallas, at least one-third of Mexican-owned companies in the United States are headquartered in North Texas, including 19 in Dallas.
One of the reasons for the growing cultural and business ties between Dallas and Mexico is its central location in the United States and its proximity to several Mexican border states.
American Airlines, based in Fort Worth, flies to at least 25 destinations in Mexico each day. There are five direct DFW flights to Mexico City, four to Monterrey and eight to Cancun, according to AA.
Dallas-based Southwest Airlines also flies to several tourist and beach destinations in Mexico.
At least 83% of the estimated 2.5 million Latinos in the Dallas-Fort Worth area are Mexican or of Mexican descent. In the city of Dallas, there are half a million.
The states of Guanajuato, San Luis Potosí, Zacatecas and Durango have higher representation in Dallas, according to the Mexican Consulate in Dallas.
Dallas also has a sister city agreement with Monterrey, the industrial capital of northern Mexico.
Dallas Cowboys practice squad player Isaac Alarcón is a Monterrey native and graduate of Tecnológico de Monterrey.