By the Caribbean Journal staff
Guatemala is projecting big things in the tourism sector.
The country’s tourist board said it was projecting 2.2 million visitors for the year 2014, with significant investment on the way in the next three years.
Indeed, tourism arrivals to the country grew by 2.8 percent in the third quarter, led by a strong July and buoyed by travelers from North America.
“Tourism is one of the main industries in the country, generating significant revenue to the economy as well as new employment opportunities,” said Pedro Duchez, director of INGUAT, the country’s tourist board. “There is a projected investment of USD $350 million over the next three years from both the private and public sectors, which is allotted towards new hotels, infrastructure, as well as the enhancement of public spaces and tourist attractions. It’s a very exciting time for the destination.”
The boost comes as a number of international brands have announced new forays into the country, from a new Ramada hotel to a pair of new properties by Courtyard by Marriott and La Quinta planned in Guatemala City.
“Investment by these top hotel brands is a testament to Guatemala’s growing appeal in the international arena,” Duchez said. “While popular areas such as Antigua, Lake Atitlan and Petén see continued interest for further development, the Tourism Board is also focused on broadening the spectrum by showcasing other lesser known areas such as Las Verapaces and Rio Dulce that offer different types of excursions such as wildlife encounters and adventure experiences.”