El Salvador and Nicaragua lead tourism growth in Central America.

The annual report of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) revealed that Central America emerges as a prosperous tourism epicenter by 2024, in which it predicts that El Salvador and Nicaragua will have the highest growth in Latin America.

In 2024, El Salvador would record an extraordinary growth of 157%, while Nicaragua follows closely with an increase of 142%. Guatemala continues the trend with 52%, followed by Honduras with 49% and Costa Rica with 35%.

This phenomenon reflects a notable change in the tourism dynamics of the region, consolidating Central America as an increasingly attractive destination for international travelers.

In El Salvador, the tourist offer has increased in recent years, as has business investment, positive elements attributed by the Government of Nayib Bukele to the reduction of violence and the homicide rate in the nation, according to official data.

Tourism growth in Nicaragua

“With the beginning of the Good Government of National Unity and Reconciliation, tourism activity was prioritized within the National Human Development Plan, as part of the Productive and Economic Growth Strategy, which contributes to the reduction of poverty and improves the quality of life of the population, which contributed to the exponential improvement of the activity, with 2017 being the best year,” stated the Nicaraguan Institute of Tourism (Intur), in its 2007-2023 report.

In that sense, he added: “in 2017, a growth of 138.6% was achieved, with a tourist arrival of 1,787,260, monetary income of 840.5 million dollars, 237.4% higher than in 2007.”

Over that same period, the Nicaraguan entity detailed a growth of 175.5% in tourism infrastructure, with 1,237 accommodation establishments, 16,226 rooms, 27,662 beds, 73,350 tables and 291,078,586 chairs available for tourists.

The tourism industry exceeded expectations in 2023 in Nicaragua, with more than one million visitors, as reported by the head of Intur, Anasha Campbell.

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According to the 2023 Tourism Income Report published by the Central Bank of Nicaragua (BCN), there was an increase in the revenues generated by non-resident tourists in the Latin American country, reaching a total of 739.2 million dollars. This represents a 24.1% increase compared to 2022.

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The WTTC report highlights the diversity of attractions that Latin American countries offer, from exquisite beaches to their rich cultural heritage and sustainable approach to tourism development.