Spread across a mountainous slice of Central America immediately south of Mexico, Guatemala is the quintessential exotic destination for European travellers – well off the beaten track. However, loaded with incredible natural, historical and cultural appeal, the country is gaining traction as a tourism hotspot, making now the ideal time to visit. As part of a multi-stop trip to Central America, Phil Sharp here finds out more for Breaking Travel News.
One of the reasons to visit Guatemala this year lies within their cruise offering, which allows passengers to experience just enough off the country’s culture, gastronomy and exotic nature to lure back approximately 70 per cent of visitors for a longer stay, according to data published by Inguat - Guatemala’s Tourism Board. “Guatemala has received approximately 218,328 cruise passengers over the past few years, 98 per cent of them recommend the destination,” said Pedro Duchez, director of Inguat.
The Guatemala Tourist Board has launched a new programme to attract more visitors to the Peten region in the north of the country through the development of new facilities and the promotion of tourism products such as the Carmelita-El Mirador circuit or the new Maya Trek. The region is home to the Maya Biosphere Reserve, the largest protected area in Guatemala occupying 19 per cent of the national territory, as well as important Maya sites like Tikal.
The Guatemala Tourist Board has launched a programme to attract more visitors to the Peten region in the north of the country through the development of new facilities and the promotion of tourism products such as the Carmelita-El Mirador circuit or the new Maya Trek.
A new centre dedicated to research and the preservation of the Mayan cultural heritage has been officially inaugurated at Tikal National Park in the Peten district of Northern Guatemala. This new centre is the result of the joint efforts of the Guatemalan ministry of culture and sports and the government of Japan, who financed the project through its International Cooperation Agency.
The Guatemala Tourist Board, INGUAT, has announced plans to build a new conference centre in Guatemala City, expected to be finished by 2014. The Guatemalan government will invest between US$60-80 million in the new centre, which will occupy a space of 30,000-35,000 square metres at the current site of the Industrial Park in the capital, according to INGUAT director, Pedro Duchez.
A US pharmaceutical company has come up with a novel way to get people to participate in trials for a remedy for “holiday tummy”. Intercell is offering up to 900 volunteers free holidays to Mexico or Guatemala - and all they need to do is eat, drink and see if they get sick.
The Guatemala Tourism Board - INGUAT - has announced today that Bill No. 38-2009, which exonerates maritime tax to those cruise passengers remaining on land no longer than 72 hours, has been passed by the Guatemalan Congress.