El Salvador and Guatemala work together to reactivate tourism

The two countries are looking to strengthen and reactivate their tourism sectors, both domestically and from markets such as Mexico and the United States.

Authorities from El Salvador and Guatemala jointly presented their actions and efforts on the path to tourism reactivation via a hybrid press conference, strengthening the ties between them.

This conference is the first of several business meetings held in El Salvador, hosted by the Minister of Tourism of El Salvador (MITUR), Morena Valdez, and the President of the Salvadoran Chamber of Tourism (CASATUR), Carlos Umaña.

Guatemalan authorities were represented by the Guatemalan ambassador, Mariela Vélez de García; Diego Díaz, president of the Chamber of Tourism of Guatemala (CAMTUR); and Andreas Kuestermann, president of the Sustainable Tourism Commission of AGEXPORT.

Morena Valdez reported the drastic losses in the global tourism industry during 2020, which affected 80% of those involved in the value chain, according to data from the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). The industry expects to be fully reactivated by the year 2023.

“If we do not collaborate with the private sector, the public sector, and society as a whole, it will be difficult to achieve this recovery. Today we are initiating this caravan from Guatemala and El Salvador to energize tourist destinations. Central America has very similar destinations, but each one has its particular essence,” the minister declared.

For his part, Carlo Umaña was pleased to see the results of two months of effort materialize in this first event, attended by more than 30 Guatemalan businessmen to negotiate with their Salvadoran counterparts.

“Since we took office in December, we have faced the most difficult challenge that we will have in our professional life, which is to direct the union of the sector that has been most affected by the pandemic in recent history worldwide,” said Umaña.

Diego Díaz highlighted the Guatemalan slogan “We are all tourism” to emphasize the need to collaborate more than ever.

“I think it’s important to understand that by creating this small regional bubble, Guatemala and El Salvador will be countries that, upon standardizing border crossing protocols and some management details, can become a complementary multi-destination,” concluded Díaz.

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