The Ministry of Tourism (Mitur) foresees the entry of 76,000 international visitors to the country in the Easter season, which will leave the country with around $50 million in foreign currency.
Likewise, in said period, an estimated 576,000 visitors are expected in all national parks, including those managed by the Salvadoran Tourism Institute (ISTU), the Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, and the Salvadoran Tourism Corporation. (CORSATUR).
The head of Mitur, Morena Valdez, indicated that the country is experiencing growth in both domestic and foreign tourism and pointed out that there are destinations that are registering strong dynamism.
«The most visited destinations continue to be the beaches. On the other hand, the second busiest destination, both for national and international tourists, is the Historic Center. In this place, there is a lot of cultural activity », she said.
The official especially highlighted the impact that the reduction in crime rates has had on the positioning of the Historic Center of San Salvador, since in the past “it was considered one of the most violent cities in the world” and now it is one of the most violent spaces.
«More than 400,000 people visited the center of the capital in 2022, making it the second-busiest tourist destination in the country. That is a positive indicator of the potential we have,” she said.
On the other hand, Valdez pointed out that the high season, generated by the religious celebration, allows an increase in the number of reservations in hotels and restaurants.
«Between January and February, we had 70% to 80% hotel occupancy, both in the city, on the beach, and in the mountains, so we hope that we will continue to do so. The high season of Easter always helps us increase this occupancy percentage, both in hotels and restaurants. We are having a fairly high occupancy in the eastern zone », she highlighted.
“It’s definitely changing the dynamic. Now the problem we have is that the demand is higher than the supply, and we are working to provide public tourism infrastructure and encourage private investment,” she added.
Lastly, the minister emphasized that during 2023 work will be done to promote the use of technologies in businesses in the field, since they report a growing trend for the management of platforms to reserve rooms, for example.
«According to data from the Ministry, 80% of tourists book online. This means that the tourism sector is growing with the support of technological innovation », she concluded.
According to data from Mitur, El Salvador continues to report historical data on international and national tourism. Only in the first two months of the year, the country registered 481,000 visitors, which is a growth of 43 percent compared to 2022.
The increase in the arrival of tourists has also allowed for the generation of 350,000 direct and indirect jobs to date. In addition, she explained that, based on data from the Salvadoran Social Security Institute (ISSS), jobs had grown by 11% and employers by 9% as of December 2022.