MEXICO CITY--Mexico has consolidated its global tourism PR brief with Ogilvy PR, as it readies expanded budgets to lure visitors back to the country.

The decision comes after a comprehensive review process, revealed earlier this year by the Holmes Report. It is understood that a number of global networks pitched for the business, which has been handled on an interim basis by Ogilvy PR in North America since late 2010. The Holmes Report understands that Burson-Marsteller previously held the mandate for 18 months.

The remainder of the global assignment, split between various local agencies, is now expected to be consolidated with the WPP agency.

Mexico Tourism Board CMO Gerardo Llanes has announced plans to double PR spending to $21 million, according to a report in AdAge, in a bid to shift the perception that country is riddled with drug-fuelled violence.

According to Mexico’s central bank, foreign tourism fell 6.3 percent in 2010, excluding border-area visitors. The first half of 2011 also saw a twp percent decline when compared to the same period in 2010.

Accordingly, Mexico is looking to aggressively ramp up tourism marketing, given the critical nature of the sector to the country’s economy. Last month, it was reported that president Felipe Calderon would appear in a new US TV push, promoting the country’s various attractions.

A spokesman at Visit Mexico in London confirmed that Ogilvy PR had been appointed to the business.