Guatemala is enjoying a big tourism boom this year, as tourism figures rose by 8.8 per cent in the first quarter of 2013 compared with 2012.Tourism revenue has also grown with tourism generating $1.42 billion last year up from $1.34 billion in 2011.
Guatemala’s rich culture and heritage are said to have attributed to the country’s tourism growth. Events such as the end of the Mayan calendar have also helped draw in more visitors looking to find out more about the Mayan world and thinking of booking flights to Central America.
Further, the Guatemalan government has increased its foreign investment by over 300 per cent in the last decade in a bid to drive growth and stability. The investment has led to more hotel chains, cruise lines and airlines coming to the country, which in return draws in more tourists.
"The end of the Baktun 13 has helped renew global interest in Mayan archaeology and this, along with the living culture of this vibrant multicultural country with 23 different languages and exquisite traditional crafts and textiles, has boosted the popularity of tours that delve into the fascinating past and present of the Maya,” explained Benedicto Grijalva, marketing director and Martsma Travel.
Guatemala currently has 3 UNESCO World Heritage sites, Antigua, Tikal and Quirigua as well as numerous other ancient locations. According to Grijavla 85 per cent of those who travel to the country do so to see the Guatemala’s unique heritage and visit the Mayan sites.
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