Dec 2, 2012 8:51 PM by Erika Flores

Mexican shoppers boosting economy

TUCSON-Christmas shopping is in full swing.

Some people have come from out of the country just to take advantage of some of the Christmas sales.

Twenty-four million visitors come to Arizona from Mexico annually, and they spend 976 million dollars just in Pima County.

License plates from Sonora are a common sight at the shopping center parking lots across Tucson.

Their drivers spend long days shopping.

Roberto Valdez-Salazar drove ten hours from Navojoa, Sonora just to shop here in Tucson.

He just paid $20.18 for something he said would cost double in Sonora.

"There are always a lot of sales, the clothes are better quality, I always find my size and my money goes farther here," said Salazar.

He comes with friends and family at least five times a year.

This time around, they're Christmas shopping, buying gifts and of course, a few things for themselves.

"For the different get-togethers that we have in December, but while shopping we have to be very patient since we have to wait in long lines to pay," said Salazar.

A study by the University of Arizona said shopping is the primary reason Mexican visitors come to Arizona.

Many of them stay overnight, go out to restaurants, visit Tucson attractions and pour money into our economy.

"Right now I just spent 500 dollars," said Jorge Francisco Encinas from Hermosillo.

Fernanda Valenzuela said she saves up throughout the year and then spends her savings in Tucson four times a year.

"I come every season to switch up my closet and get rid of the old," she said.

Yessica Herrera-Quijada does the same.

"We love to shop for everything that's in style and new," said Quijada.

According to the 2008 study, each day Mexican visitors spend over 7 million dollars in Arizona contributing to over 23 thousand jobs.


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