Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson will visit Mexico City and Monterrey next week, his first international trip since he took office in 2019.
Johnson will travel to the Mexican capital on Monday and will be flying back to Dallas on Thursday from Monterrey. The mayor will meet with Mexican government officials and local business leaders to promote connections with Dallas.
In Mexico City, he will meet with Roberto Velasco Álvarez, Mexico’s chief Officer for North America for Foreign Affairs. He will also meet with Mexican Tourism Secretary Miguel Torruco and Economy Secretary Tatiana Clougheri Carrillo, the Mayor’s Office confirmed.
Johnson will tour Monterrey and will meet Mayor Luis Donaldo Colosio Riojas and Nuevo Leon Gov. Samuel García Sepúlveda.
“This trip comes at the right time. After enduring two difficult years of the pandemic, Dallas is back — and we want the world to know it,” said Johnson in a news release. “I am thrilled for the opportunity to visit the great cities of Mexico City and Monterrey. And I am confident that our time in both cities will help our city build new relationships and strengthen long-standing ties.”
The consul general of Mexico in Dallas, Francisco de la Torre, will be with the mayor throughout his trip.
“I am thrilled that Mayor Johnson’s first official international trip is to Mexico visiting Mexico City and Monterrey — two of Dallas’ top trading partners,” de la Torre said. “This trip is especially important because of the sister city relationship between Monterrey and Dallas.”
Johnson’s trip follows up with measures to restore commercial ties between cities in Texas after the pandemic. The border between Mexico and the United States was closed to visitors for 19 months due to COVID-19 restrictions.
In 2019, Mexican tourists spent almost $460 million on their trips to Dallas, according to Visit Dallas, an organization that promotes tourism in Dallas. That represented 44% of international visitor spending in North Texas that year.
According to the Dallas Regional Chamber, trade between the Dallas region and Mexico totaled nearly $1.5 billion in 2021.
Commercial ties between Mexico and the Dallas-Fort Worth area have significantly grown in recent decades.
Companies such as telecommunications conglomerate AT&T, snack maker Frito Lay and cosmetics company Mary Kay have subsidiaries and multi-million dollar investments in Mexico.
Also, Mexican corporations such as tortilla-maker Gruma/Mission Foods and Vitro, a glassmaker based in Monterrey’s metropolitan area, have established headquarters in North Texas.
In recent years, companies such as Cinépolis, a Mexican movie theater chain, and Mexico City’s KidZania have moved their headquarters to the Dallas area.
According to the Mexican Consulate in Dallas, at least a third of the corporations with Mexican capital 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.
Fort Worth-based American Airlines flies to at least 25 destinations in Mexico every day. There are five direct flights from DFW 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 origin. In the city of Dallas, there are half a million.
The states of Guanajuato, San Luis Potosí, Zacatecas and Durango have a 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.
Isaac Alarcón, a player on the Dallas Cowboys practice squad, is originally from Monterrey and graduated from Tecnológico de Monterrey.