El Salvador Plans Tourism Boost

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Above: El Salvador

By the Caribbean Journal staff

El Salvador is planning a major boost to its tourism attractions in the La Libertad and Usulutan coastal regions, with help from the Inter-American Development Bank.

The country’s Ministry of Tourism is slated to receive a $25 million loan from the Inter-American Development Bank to finance new attractions in the area, part of a new push to develop the industry in El Salvador.

The Central American country received about 1.25 million tourist arrivals in 2012, with the number of hotels and restaurants in the country increasing by 30 percent over the past seven years.

Domestic tourism alone accounts for more than 4 million trips a year, according to the IDB.

But many coastal and beach attractions in El Salvador pale in comparison to Caribbean and Central American neighbours, due in large part to a lack of infrastructure.

The plan is to make tourism a priority, according to the IDB, and to improve the infrastructure to improve the number of overnight visitors.

The new IDB project will finance projects like boardwalks, piers, wharfs, handcraft markets and scenic outlooks.

The loan is for a 25-year term.