updated 2/16/2010 8:51:14 AM ET 2010-02-16T13:51:14

Mexico's revenue from foreign tourism dropped 15 percent in 2009 amid the global economic downturn and the swine flu epidemic.

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The Tourism Department says Mexico received almost $11.3 billion from foreign tourism in 2009, compared to $13.3 billion in 2008.

In the wake of the swine flu outbreak, revenue plummeted 49 percent in May compared to the same month in 2008. The epidemic virtually paralyzed Mexico, forcing the closure of schools, restaurants and archaeological sites. Some countries restricted air travel to Mexico.

The department said in a statement Monday that revenue fell just 4.5 percent in December, indicating the industry was recovering.

Drug violence has also discouraged foreigners from visiting parts of Mexico.

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