El Salvador caught the attention of the international community by executing one of the most efficient strategies – in terms of health and economy – in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, later in 2021 it became the first nation in the world to declare bitcoin as its legal tender.
These elements converge in the 10.3% growth that the country obtained last year, and that positioned its name on a global scale to attract the curiosity of thousands of tourists, particularly concerned to know the Salvadoran daily life from the implementation of the cryptocurrency.
According to the Minister of Tourism, Morena Valdez, during 2021, 1.4 million visitors arrived in El Salvador from abroad, mostly in the last months of the year, this following the entry into force of the Bitcoin Law that took place in September.
“We did a survey to check the activity according to before and after the bitcoin. The tourism sector increased in November and December by more than 30%,” Valdez said.
She explained that the flow of tourist visits to the Central American country has changed, since the main visitors were from neighboring countries of the Central American isthmus, while in recent months 60% of tourists come from the United States.
On the other hand, the minister indicated that, in order to respond to the growing tourist demand, the Government has designed a plan to promote the growth of the sector and the quality of the places, products and services offered by El Salvador.
“There are three pillars aimed at tourism development. The first is infrastructure, the second is to strengthen human resources and the third is everything related to surf tournaments and the positioning of the country internationally,” he said.
Tourism is the second big bet of the productive development plan for 2022, called 10 Economic Impulses launched by President Nayib Bukele in early February. The president explained that the plan seeks to give sustainability to the growth achieved by the country in 2021 and to bring more and more of its benefits to the people.
Bitcoin has begun to impact the national economy, not only by facilitating the sending of $44 million in remittances free of commissions, but also by attracting international investors seeking to establish their businesses in the country.