Swift growth in international tourism for El Salvador


Tourism Minister Ruben Rochi submitted the “Achievements, Challenges, and Opportunities” report, which indicates the main actions and projects carried out at the Ministry, while highlighting the Government’s strong support when declaring the sector State Policy and strategic axis of the nation’s economy.

The passing of the law governing tourist activities – which was the basis for the establishment of El Salvador’s Ministry of Tourism (MITUR) – and the design of the National Tourism Plan and Strategy 2014, represented the pillars of the swift development experienced throughout this period.

“One of the goals of this presentation is to evaluate our four years of administration and to set some challenges given the present conditions of the sector. It is very important to make this historical tally of what has taken place since the establishment of MITUR so that we may all assess our progress and the road we have traveled together,” said the official.

The 40.8% rise in the number of visitors during 2007 allows for projecting 51.7% growth towards the end of 2008 with respect to 2004. 1.3 million tourists generated $916.6 million in 2007, 9.8% more than in 2006. $987 million is expected by the close of 2008, a 38.7% rise. The launching of the “El Salvador, impresionante” as a national brand in March 2007 stands out in the field of marketing.

The hotel sector opened 103 new hotels, thus reaching 318 and 7,282 rooms, 47.9% more than in 2004. According to official data, other areas reporting growth in activities include restaurants, with 54.0%; lodging, 35.5%; tourism operators, 7.4%; transport, 2.0%; and travel agencies, 1.1%.

“The tourist sector’s new dynamics in El Salvador calls for a greater propensity toward change on the part of businesspersons in light of the shifting behavioral patterns of both local and foreign travelers,” explained the head of MITUR.

During the reading of the report, the Tourism minister further proposed that the tourist sector set up five roundtables to evaluate the sector’s tendencies and challenges to face vis-a-vis world trends, as well as propose strategies for the hotel, restaurant, tourism operator, travel agency, and transport segments.