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Salvadoran Tourism Reports $2.79 Billion in Foreign Exchange Earnings by October

Updated: Oct 26, 2023

El Salvador is experiencing a surge in tourism, with the country welcoming 2.4 million international visitors in the first nine months of the year, representing a 27% increase compared to 2022

As reported by the Ministry of Tourism (Mitur). This remarkable growth in tourist arrivals has helped position El Salvador as the fourth-fastest-growing tourism destination globally, according to the latest data released by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). This achievement underscores the sector’s role in driving the national economy.

The UNWTO’s findings align with Mitur’s recent statistics, which indicate that, by September 2023, the tourism sector had generated an impressive $2.79 billion in foreign exchange earnings, a clear testament to its robust nature.

Morena Valdez, the Minister of Tourism, further highlighted the success of El Salvador’s tourism industry, noting that the country has already welcomed 2.4 million international tourists in the first nine months of the year. This surge in visitors has significantly contributed to the country’s tourism-related expenditure.

“We’ve already had more than 2.4 million visitors by September, which means we’re approaching our goal of 2.9 million tourists. Our foreign exchange earnings have surpassed $2.7 billion, with a target of over $2.9 billion. We’re well on track to exceed these projections,” stated Minister Valdez.

The majority of tourists (44%) originate from the United States, including Salvadorans who left many years ago and are now returning with their families and friends. Guatemala accounts for 23% of these visitors, while Honduras contributes 15%, with the remaining tourists hailing from various parts of the world.

According to Mitur’s statistics, 56% of these tourists arrive by air, through either the El Salvador International Airport or the Ilopango Airport, while the remaining 44% enter the country via land, using the various border crossings with Guatemala and Honduras.

As of September, the average international tourist stay in the country lasts approximately two to three weeks, with an estimated daily expenditure of $167 per person.

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