Mayor Eric Johnson to visit Mexico for first official international trip as mayor
DALLAS — Mayor Eric Johnson next week will travel to Mexico City and Monterrey — which has an official Sister City relationship with Dallas — to promote Dallas and for high-level meetings with government officials.
The visit will mark Mayor Johnson’s first official international trip as mayor of Dallas after the pandemic tabled travel plans.
“As an international city that drives the nation’s fourth-largest metropolitan area, it is important for us to stand up on the world stage,” Mayor Johnson said. “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. 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 original proposal for the trip came up when Mayor Johnson hosted Roberto Velasco Álvarez, Chief Officer for the North America Unit at the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs, last year at Dallas City Hall. Velasco was accompanied by Francisco de la Torre, Consul General of Mexico in Dallas, who invited Mayor Johnson to visit Mexico and helped to plan the itinerary.
Mayor Johnson, who will depart for Mexico City on Monday evening and return from Monterrey on Thursday evening, will be joined by de la Torre throughout the 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,” said de la Torre. “This trip is especially important because of the Sister City relationship between Monterrey and Dallas.
“I am also excited because there is so much we can do together — 35% of all the Mexican investments in the U.S. are headquartered in the Dallas metro area, and the contribution of the Mexican community has been very important to the growth of this region economically and culturally.”
Dallas has substantial connections to and shared interests with Mexico.
Prior to the pandemic, Mexican visitors in 2019 spent almost $460 million in Dallas, according to VisitDallas. That accounted for 44% of international visitor spending in Dallas that year. And as tourism from Mexico to Dallas dramatically increased between 2014 and 2019, spending from Mexican visitors increased by 40%.
And in 2021, trade between the Dallas region and Mexico totaled nearly $1.5 billion, according to the Dallas Regional Chamber.
Mayor Johnson has made international affairs a priority during his time in office, saying it will be vital to the city’s economic competitiveness going forward. The mayor also has plans to visit Dijon, France — another Sister City to Dallas — later in the year.