Guatemala: El Corazón del Mundo Maya (Revue Magazine)

Imagine a place with volcanoes and mountains, jungles and deserts, white sands and black beaches… but while some of us have already discovered the beauty of Guatemala, the majority of the world remains oblivious.

INGUAT, the country’s tourism board, is currently embarking on a 10-year campaign to increase tourism in the country at both a national and international level. 

“Guatemala has a lot of unique products on offer like its Selva (jungle) and Mayan archaeology,” says Walter Fischer, Senior Advisor at INGUAT. “It’s cultural tourism that doesn’t exist anywhere else in the world and we want to put it at everyone’s fingertips.”

The organisation’s latest strategy promotes Guatemala as El Corazón del Mundo Maya and, coupled with an increased advertisement of the nation’s attractions, aims to help the country achieve it’s potential in the travel industry by 2020.

“Costa Rica has 25% of what Guatemala has,” insists Fischer. However, since it has promoted itself better in the past, Costa Rica remains a more obvious holiday destination for vacationing foreigners.

INGUAT’s emphasis is on increasing tourism, but with customer satisfaction over customer sales – so that visitors leave planning their return trip. It also wants to capitalise on upcoming events such as drawing tourists in during the year of the Mayan Prophecy 2012.

This year has already seen an increase in tourism compared with last year and it’s hoped the numbers will keep on rising. Promotional television adverts for Guatemala have started appearing in various nations around the world as well as on popular channels like CNN and National Geographic.

In addition to pushing the country in places far afield like Germany, Spain and the UK, the organisation is also canvassing at a more local level and encouraging its neighbours to pay a visit.

Central America has Guatemala at its fingertips; residents of these countries don’t require a visa to visit and many unique destinations are just a bus ride away.

With the recent increase in air travel across the region, INGUAT hopes tourists will be persuaded to extend their vacation and visit a chain of popular attractions throughout the area.

“Rather than someone coming just to visit Mexico, why not go from Palenque to Tikal, onto Antigua and fly back?” asks Fischer.

Internal tourism is also very important to INGUAT. Viaja a Guatemala sin salir de Guatemala is a new project that encourages residents to go beyond the tourist hot spots of Antigua and Panajachel, and visit lesser known archaeological towns around the country like Uaxactún.

While Fischer admits the level of in-country violence is a challenge to the country’s tourism industry, he insists the international perception of Guatemala remains its biggest barrier to development.

“There’s a lot of negative publicity about Guatemala. But there’s also a lot of positive things to say about the country, which rarely get mentioned.”

As The Heart of the Mayan World, Guatemala really does have something for everyone. From bird watching in cloud forests, to zip lining in rainforests – it’s a nation full of surprises and hopefully INGUAT’s dedicated promotion campaign will enable the Central American nation to fulfil its vast potential.


1 Response to “Guatemala: El Corazón del Mundo Maya (Revue Magazine)”

  1. 1 Suzanne September 24, 2013 at 11:40 pm

    Hello there! This is my first visit to your blog! We are a group of volunteers
    and starting a new initiative in a community in the same niche.
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    on. You have done a marvellous job!

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