Mexico Expects Millions To Visit For 2012 Solstice

Published January 12, 2012 11:36PM (EST)

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Tourism officials say 2012 will be a special year for Mexico, even though they don't expect the world to end Dec. 21.

The Tourism Department says it will spend $8 million promoting tourism to Mexico's "Mayan World" — the southeastern region where the Mayan culture thrived. The area extends into Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras.

Doomsday prognosticators' belief the Maya predicted the end of the world for December 2012 has brought attention to one of Mexico's great cultures. Officials reject the prediction but hope the attention will draw tourists.

Tourism Secretary Gloria Guevara expects 52 million tourists over the 1½ years of the plan. That would be 12 million more than usual.

By Salon Staff

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