El Salvador Among the Top 5 Best Performing Tourist Destinations Worldwide in 2023

By Eddie Galdamez  |  Sep 28th, 2023
El Salvador TourismInternational Airport in El Salvador. Image by CEPASV.

The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) released its list of the best-performing destinations through July 2023; El Salvador ranks fourth behind Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Albania.

“The latest World Tourism Organization Barometer shows several destinations in the Middle East and Europe enjoyed strong growth in arrivals through July 2023, by far exceeding pre-pandemic levels.” World Tourism Organization.

Six countries in the Americas made the list, with El Salvador ranking number one. Colombia is second in the Americas, followed by the US Virgin Islands, Curacao, Honduras, and the Dominic Republic.

The 2023 tourism percentage increase is compared to 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic.

The report includes statistics from the beginning of 2023 to the present. El Salvador grew by 32% compared to 2019, before the shock of the COVID-19 pandemic that hampered tourist activity.

El Salvador was surpassed by Qatar’s 95% increase. However, Qataer benefited from the Soccer World Cup in 2022. In second place is Saudi Arabia, with a rebound of 58%, and Albania with 56%.

El Salvador is the 4th country in the world in terms of tourism growth and the best-performing destination in the entire Western Hemisphere.” President Nayib Bukele.

SEE ALSO: Lonely Planet includes El Salvador as one of the best 2023 travel destinations

According to the Ministry of Tourism of El Salvador (MITUR,) in the first half of 2023, more than 1.6 million international tourists entered the country, leaving the economy with more than $1.6 billion in revenue.

Mitur expects that the country will receive more than 2.9. million international visitors by the end of the year, leaving revenues exceeding $2.9 billion.

If the MITUR projection is met, tourist arrivals to El Salvador would grow by 11.5% compared to the 2.6 million received in 2019.

SEE ALSO: Is El Salvador Safe to Visit in 2023? A Comprehensive Safety Guide for Travelers

Improved Security Has Helped El Salvador Tourism

After years of violence, El Salvador has reached a level of security not seen in over 30 years; this has helped the tourism industry.

“The Salvadoran coasts welcome surfers and tourists from all over. With the improvement of security and the return of visitors, locals turn a deaf ear to the complaints of international organizations about prison overcrowding.” France24.

In 2023, El Salvador stands as a captivating tourist destination, blending historical charm with natural beauty. Its evolving infrastructure and commitment to tourism make it an enticing choice for travelers seeking unique experiences in Central America.