Bolivia bets on natural tourism to reactivate the sector in 2022

Bolivia bets on natural tourism to reactivate the sector in 2022


The surprising immensity of the Salar de Uyuni, Lake Titicaca or Sajama, the highest mountain in the country, are the secrets with which Bolivian tourism aspires to seduce visitors, the Bolivian Vice Minister of Tourism said in an interview with Efe. Eliana Ampuero.

The deputy minister of the Government of Luis Arce highlighted that since 2021 there has been a greater flow of Bolivians traveling through the country’s tourist destinations, so this year internal tourism will continue to be promoted, especially natural and outdoor areas.

“The current tourist trend is to move to natural areas in open spaces where they can be in contact with nature and feel safe against covid-19,” Ampuero said.

Likewise, he pointed out that last year there was a movement of 1.1 million people moving through the national territory that has generated an economic flow of approximately 130 million dollars.

Ampuero recalled that among the most visited tourist destinations in 2021 is the emblematic Salar de Uyuni, located in the Andean region of Potosí, Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world shared with Peru, the ruins of Samaipata in eastern Santa Cruz, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

You can also read: VIDEO: Rains turn the majestic Uyuni salt flat into a lake

Also the Gran Chaco, located in part of the departments of Chuquisaca, Tarija and Santa Cruz, the Cintis valley in Chuquisaca, in the same way the Bolivian Chiquitania and the “route along the paths of the uncle” in the high plateau of Oruro that runs through some of the mining municipalities.

Reactivation of local tourism

The Vice Minister of Tourism highlighted the increase in Bolivian tourists and the incentives that the Government gives to officials who choose destinations within the country.

In this sense, he highlighted the “important effect” of the 2020 supreme decree that motivates public officials to buy tourist packages and that companies grant exceptional permits by increasing vacation days for their workers while they travel to a destination within the country.

“If the Bolivian continues to know his country, the economic dynamics will be distributed throughout the national territory, it is very important to generate knowledge, development and, on the other hand, that the Bolivian empowers his country,” he stressed.

Several tourists travel in a boat through the Madidi National Park, in 2016. Photo: EFE/ Martín Alipaz

The official explained that this represents a recovery of around 70% of internal movement compared to 2020, when tourism fell by 74% and had a flow of approximately 300,000 Bolivians due to restrictions by Covid-19.

He also emphasized that in 2019, before the pandemic, there was an internal movement of 1.6 million people.

In the same way, it is estimated that around 500,000 travelers arrived in the country in 2021, including Bolivians residing in other countries, generating a foreign exchange income of 179 million dollars.

You can also read: Government lifts mandatory isolation for tourists vaccinated against Covid-19

Most of the tourists who come to Bolivia come from countries such as Argentina, Chile, Brazil, France, Germany, Italy, China and Japan, Ampuero commented.

biosafe tourism

The deputy minister stressed that now tourists do not have to quarantine for 10 days as was previously required, but that they must present their vaccination certificates or PCR tests and that this measure is expected to contribute to activating the “receptive” tourist flow.

He also stated that they are seeking to identify other “emerging” destinations that will be promoted this year, but that since 2021 they have been working with at least 55 municipalities to develop their “tourist products” and train them in biosafety protocols.

Likewise, 391 tour guides and 342 companies that already have a certificate of biosafety tourist service provider by Covid-19 have been trained.

Tourism is one of the sectors hardest hit by the pandemic and many of the guides decided to carry out other economic activities or are unemployed, the president of the Bolivian Federation of Tourist Guides, Alan Huaman, told Efe.

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