Exclusive: One on One with El Salvador Minister of Tourism

ANTIGUA, Guatemala – As part of our coverage of the Centro America Travel Market Guatemala, Travel Agent sat down Jose Napoleon Duarte, minister of tourism for El Salvador, and learned of the country’s marketing campaign to draw more Americans to the country.

Duarte says tourism promotion to the U.S. has increased dramatically in the last few years, resulting in increases, albeit moderate, in U.S. arrivals year after year. Last year, roughly 28 percent of all visitors to El Salvador were Americans. This is year, that number has grown to 30 percent.

And expect that number to jump a bit higher next year, mostly due to a new marketing campaign, titled, “El Salvador: Everything Included,” which launched in August, Duarte says. The marketing campaign has included television advertisements on CNN and will also include road shows for agents and fam trips.

Currently, the hottest American markets for El Salvador are Los Angeles, San Francisco, New Jersey, New York and Washington, D.C. The plan for the campaign is to attract new visitors to the country, besides the usual U.S. visitors who are former El Salvador residents visiting family and friends.

So what do agents need to tell their clients about El Salvador?

“The people are what make our country great to visit,” Duarte told Travel Agent through a translator. “You come to El Salvador for the people, the culture, the history and the gastronomy. We have it all.”

Visit www.elsalvador.travel.

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