El Salvador has become one of the top destinations for international surfers in recent years, with many attracted by the waves and, now, the country’s safety, according to the Minister of Tourism, Morena Valdez.
Valdez said that “90% of new visitors coming to the country for the first time, specifically for these surfing tournaments, are attracted by the security, the waves, and President Nayib Bukele. Everyone wants to meet him and congratulates him on all the work and strategy [of security] being done.”
She added that this same strategy has allowed organizations like the International Surfing Association (ISA) to request that surfing championships be held in the country, such as the Longboard Surfing Championship taking place from May 7 to 13 at El Sunzal Beach in La Libertad.
“The ISA asked us to hold this event in the country. El Salvador is being requested for this type of event,” Valdez confirmed.
Furthermore, Valdez said that the six surfing tournaments taking place throughout the year are helping to boost the economy, both locally and nationally, as the athletes and their companions not only visit the beaches but also participate in different tourist destinations.
“We have made a global calculation of how much tourism and surfing tournaments will bring. We have estimated that we will receive 2.9 million visitors by December, which is equivalent to more than $2.9 billion in foreign exchange earnings,” she explained.
Valdez also highlighted that they are currently working on strengthening private investment in hotel infrastructure. According to Mitur, with all these events, hotel occupancy rates range from 90% to 100%.
She also mentioned that they are promoting training in the sector so that entrepreneurs can obtain quality certifications.
El Salvador’s surfing scene has not only become a safe haven for tourists but has also helped boost the country’s economy. With the support of private investment and quality certifications, it is hoped that the country’s tourism industry will continue to flourish.