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Biometric Check-In Kiosks Approved for Cancun Airport to Speed up Lines

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Mexican lawmakers approved new check-in kiosks that will help immigration officials with new technology. The main goal is to reduce lines for tourists traveling to Mexico.

The Mexican Senate approved a law to help officials from the Mexican Institute of Immigration (INM) check the entry and exit of foreign travelers. The idea is to make this process easier when checking documents using automated technological tools.

This project was presented to the Senate by the Committee on Border and Immigration Affairs and was approved by a unanimous vote. They stressed the importance of modernizing this by using information technologies.

“With this new law, our immigration agents will be supported with automated technological tools to check the entry and exit of national and foreign travelers. This way, Mexico will keep up with modern technology. This will also speed up and automate the immigration process of travelers arriving in the country.”

The senator mentioned that the new kiosks would include biometrics, which has proven to be an efficient control tool in checkpoints. This technology is already being used in other countries like Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Israel, Japan, Russia, the United States, and the United Kingdom.

This will improve wait times for global travelers when entering Mexico and improve their experience at any entry point.

They have worked with other agencies, like the Ministry of Tourism, which has been promoting automated traveler check-in for some time. They installed 40 kiosks at Mexico City’s International Airport, 40 in Cancun, and 20 in Los Cabos. Still, they haven’t been put into operation due to a lack of regulation.

Everyone agrees how important this new law is because it boosts the tourism sector, one of Mexico’s most important sources of income.

Immigration Officer

“In 2021, Mexico received 50 billion dollars from abroad. However, it received 142 billion dollars from international tourism. This is why it’s crucial to focus on tourism because our economic growth depends so much on this sector,” explained the lawmaker.

International tourism generates financial and economic stability for Mexico. Most of the global tourism that travels to Mexico is from the United States and Canada. And most of them arrive via air travel to five airports.

Digital Immigration Setups

Cancun and the Riviera Maya represent 48%; Mexico City, 10%; Los Cabos, 9%; Puerto Vallarta and the Riviera Nayarit, 6%; and Mazatlan, 4%.

Mexico is breaking records in the number of tourists who visit their country. The airports of Mexico City, Cancun, and Los Cabos, cover 75% of these arrivals. That is why it’s necessary to put in place automated technological tools. This will help international airports end long wait times for foreign travelers who come to Mexico and even Mexicans when re-entering Mexico.

This comes after we reported about 2-hour lines at the Cancun Airport immigration check-in point in March. To combat the long lines, they sent 55 extra immigration agents. The President of the Hotel Association made a plea to the authorities, especially since spring break was around the corner.

The solution explored by Mexican Immigration authorities was, in fact, the expansion of digital check-in kiosks. Now that lawmakers have approved this reform, it’s a matter of time before the Mexican President signs off on the immigration law. Hopefully, tourists will start benefiting from this technology when traveling to Mexico.

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