El Salvador registers a growth of 82.8% in visitors by land

The Migration and Immigration data highlights a significant year-on-year increase in tourist arrivals up to July. In these August holidays, both nationals and foreigners enjoy national destinations.

Tourism in El Salvador continues to grow and exceeds the figures obtained even before the pandemic. Until the first half of this year, the country received 1.1 million visitors, 92% of the total figure obtained throughout 2019, prior to the pandemic, when 1.2 million people arrived.

For the general director of Immigration and Immigration, Ricardo Cucalón, the increase in tourist income in the country is largely due to the security strategy implemented by the government of President Nayib Bukele.

“We have had a considerable increase to this date compared to last year. People attribute it to the security they feel to move around,” Cucalón pointed out.

Prior to the August vacation period, until July 30, the authorities reported the entry of 14,456 people into Salvadoran territory by land. This represented a growth of 82.8% compared to the same date in 2021, when 7,906 entered.

“The end of this month is an indication of how the influx of tourists will be on the August holidays, in commemoration of the Divine Savior of the World,” the official said.

Cucalón pointed out that the entry of more people is a sign of an interest in enjoying the tourist offer of beaches, mountains, and culture, without fear of experiencing problems caused by criminal groups.

However, revenues by air have also remained dynamic. According to the Autonomous Executive Port Commission (CEPA), between January 1 and July 3, 2022, 1.7 million inbound and outbound passengers were served, in addition to 17,964 commercial passenger flights at the El Salvador San Óscar International Airport. Arnulfo Romero y Galdámez.

The push shown by El Salvador in the tourism sector has also been recognized by the firm ForwardKeys, which mentioned in a report that the country is positioned in the region as the most visited in the first quarter of the year.

“The most resilient destinations are El Salvador with +28% above pre-pandemic levels, followed by Nicaragua (+8%) and Mexico (-8%)”, pointed out the travel market research company.

Influx in the August holidays

Salvadorans and foreigners are living the August holidays to the fullest in the different tourist destinations in the country. According to data from the Ministry of Tourism (Mitur), until yesterday, more than 97,000 visitors were registered in the recreational parks managed by the Salvadoran Tourism Institute (ISTU) and in other public spaces, which represents 32.3% of the total projected for these dates.

Almost 300,000 visitors are expected in public places during the holidays this month, according to the general director of Strategic Projects of the Ministry of Tourism, Alex Bonilla. One of these places is the Walter Thilo Deininger Surf City Adventure Park, which was renovated and launched in December, and has shown an increase in foot traffic.

“Walter Thilo is a first-rate public park that has quality infrastructure and has been widely visited by Salvadorans. We have opened the park since December and we have seen how little by little the influx has increased,” said Eny Aguiñada, president of the ISTU.

For the August holiday period alone, they expect to receive more than 57,000 international tourists, which will generate nearly $60 million in foreign currency. To do this, the tourism portfolio has prepared different options to facilitate movement in the territory.

For example, as of August 3, the government will make the Buses Alegres available to locals and foreigners, which will have routes to Cerro Verde, Ichanmichen, Costa del Sol, Laguna de Apasteque, and Sihuatehuacán, among others.