Central America saw a surge in popularity last year as a record amount of Brits visited the seven Central American countries. The seven countries collectively saw a 7 per cent increase in visitors from the UK last year compared with 2011.
It is not just Brits that are grabbing flights to Central America though, German visitors increased by 9 per cent last year compared with 2011 and Spanish visitors continued to be the main European outbound market for Central America, with 151,202 visitors in 2012.
A total of 832,567 European tourists visited Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama last year, with Costa Rican holidays remaining the most popular with visitors from the UK.
Events such as the end of the Mayan calendar also resulted in a surge of interest in places like Guatemala, which saw 27 per cent more British visitors in 2012 compared with the previous year. Visitor numbers to Honduras, another location with a big Maya heritage, rose by 4 percent with Brits flocking to the destination find out more about the ancient civilization and visit the Copan ruins.
However, though visitor numbers to Central America from Europe rose by 16 per cent in total, the same trend was not seen from the rest of the world. The total number of visitors to the seven Central American countries from around the world in 2012 was 12,545,313, a comparatively small increase of just 1.3 per cent when compared with the increase in European vistors last year.