Minister of tourism Jose Napoleon Duarte Duran has announced that El Salvador will host the 11th Central America Travel Market in October 2017, with the aim of further cementing the positioning of Central America as a tourist destination as well as encouraging the development of new business relationships.
The event will be organised and promoted by the National Tourism Authorities, the Federation of Central American Tourism Chambers and the Central America Tourism Agency.
El Salvador was chosen to host the event at the 99th Central American Tourism Council which took place in Roatan in Honduras last April.
The event is expecting to welcome 100 tourism companies including 80 buyers specialised in multi-destination products from South America, Europe and the United States and 20 international journalists.
Jose Napoleon Duarte Duaran said: “The Central America Travel Market has established itself as an outstanding event for promoting tourism in Central America including multi-destination travel, tourism products and knowledge of the region.”
In 2014, the format of the show was changed after a reassessment of the impact of different markets and opened up to the North American market as well as the European one.
According to Duarte, the event will bring together ministers and tourism authorities from the Latin American region, wholesalers from Europe and the United States, international media and approximately 100 sellers from Central America.
“We are currently implementing changes to CATM in order to be more aggressive and to have more of an impact with our marketing strategies,” said Duarte.
Duarte states that Central America has many great attractions to offer visitors.
The region has one of the most impressive natural landscapes in the world spanning across 554 protected areas, occupying 25 per cent of its regional territory and 8 per cent of the world’s biodiversity.
Central America is also home to an important cultural heritage characterised by ancient civilisations such as the Maya and Pre-Colombian and Afro-Caribbean cultures which travellers can still visit and learn about today.
The region has a little something for everyone with 16 National Heritage Sites, colonial cities, volcanos and beaches on the Pacific and Caribbean coasts.
According to the World Tourism Organisation, Central America received a total of 10.3 million tourists in 2015, an increase of seven per cent compared to 2014.
Tourism contributed to $11.4 billion of Central America’s income, an increase of 11 per cent compared to 2014.
In 2015, revenues in the Dominican Republic reached $17.6 billion.
Among the tourists who visited Central America in 2015, 37 per cent were Central America, 37 per cent American, ten per cent European, 13 per cent South American and three per cent from other countries.