El Salvador Ranks Among Top Countries for Tourism Growth in the World
El Salvador has emerged as one of the leading destinations for tourism growth, securing the fourth position globally and the top spot in the Western Hemisphere. President Nayib Bukele proudly revealed this accomplishment, citing data from the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).
According to the report, spanning from the beginning of 2023 until now, El Salvador witnessed a remarkable 32% increase in international tourist arrivals between January and July. This growth is measured in comparison to 2019, a period preceding the disruptive impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the tourism industry.
Qatar, bolstered by its hosting of the 2022 Soccer World Cup, claimed the first position globally. Saudi Arabia and Albania secured the second and third places with growth rates of 58% and 56% respectively.
In terms of the Americas, El Salvador leads the pack, followed by Colombia with a growth rate of 23%.
The UNWTO acknowledged the extraordinary resilience and sustained recovery demonstrated by the global tourism industry, particularly after enduring the prolonged crisis brought on by the pandemic and subsequent conflicts such as the Ukraine-Russia conflict.
UNWTO Secretary Zurab Pololikashvili emphasized the need for adaptation within the sector as it recovers, citing the significance of building a more inclusive, sustainable, and resilient industry, especially in light of extreme weather events.
The UNWTO predicted that global tourism would likely reach between 80% and 95% of pre-pandemic levels by the end of this year. Following the peak travel season from June to August, the industry’s recovery is anticipated to continue at a more moderate pace, primarily due to suppressed demand in Asia and the Pacific.
Data provided by the Ministry of Tourism of El Salvador (Mitur) revealed that in the first half of 2023 alone, more than 1.6 million international tourists entered the country. As a result, the economy received over $1.6 billion in revenue.
Mitur projects that by the end of this year, international tourism in El Salvador will exceed 2.9 million visitors, generating revenues in excess of $2.9 billion. If this projection materializes, it would signify an 11.5% increase in tourist arrivals compared to 2019, accompanied by a substantial 89.2% surge in foreign exchange earnings.
El Salvador’s remarkable tourism growth highlights its rising stature as a coveted destination for international travelers and augurs well for the country’s economy, showcasing the immense potential of its tourism sector.