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Tourism aaaaaa

Post by kosovohp on Fri Oct 29, 2010 1:22 am

The only airport serving international flights in the country is Comalapa International Airport. This airport is located about 40 km (25 mi) southeast of San Salvador.[54] The airport is commonly known as Comalapa International or El Salvador International.

El Salvador's tourism industry has grown dynamically over recent years as the Salvadoran government focuses on developing this sector. Last year tourism accounted for 4.6% of GDP; only 10 years ago, it accounted for 0.4%. In this same year tourism grew 4.5% worldwide. Comparatively, El Salvador saw an increase of 8.97%, from 1.15 million to 1.27 million tourists. This has led to revenue from tourism growing 35.9% from $634 million to $862 million. As a reference point, in 1996 tourism revenue was $44.2 million. Also, there has been an even greater increase in the number of excursionists (visits that do not include an overnight stay). 222,000 excursionists visited El Salvador in 2006, a 24% increase over the previous year.[55]

Most North American and European tourists are seeking out El Salvador's beaches and nightlife. Besides these two choices, El Salvador's tourism landscape is slightly different than those of other Central American countries. Because of its geographical size and urbanization, there aren't many nature-themed tourist destination such as ecotours or archaeological monuments. Surfing, however, is a natural tourist sector that is gaining popularity in recent years as more surfers visit many beaches in the coast of La Libertad and the east side of the country, finding surfing spots that are not yet overcrowded. Also, the use of the United States dollar as Salvadoran currency and direct flights of 4–6 hours from most cities in the United States are important things to note for first-time travelers from the United States. Urbanization and Americanization of Salvadoran culture has also led to something else that first time tourists might be surprised to see: the abundance of American-style malls, stores, and restaurants in the three main urban areas, especially greater San Salvador.

Currently, tourists to El Salvador can be classified into four groups: Central Americans; North Americans; Salvadorans living abroad, primarily in the United States; and Europeans and South Americans. The first three represent the vast majority of tourists. Recently, El Salvador has attempted to broaden its tourist base and increase the number of visitors from Europe and South America. Early indicators show that the government's efforts are working. When comparing January–March 2007 to the same period in 2006 (most recent data available), overall tourism has grown 10%, while from North America 38%, Europe 31%, and South America 36%.[56] In the fall, Livingston Airlines will initiate the only direct flight between Europe (departing from Milan) and El Salvador. The Decameron Salinitas, a recently inaugurated resort, has contributed to the growth of tourists from South America (because of name recognition of the resort chain) and is looking to do the same with Europeans.

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