During the summer season and Holy Week, the top destinations in Guatemala for both national and foreign tourists are Solola, Sacatepequez, Peten, Izabal, Escuintla and Coban. This impacts local communities, generating not only direct employment opportunities but also as much as eight additional indirect jobs per direct job, as stated by the Sustainable Tourism Commission of AGEXPORT.
During this Holy Week season, we expected an increase in tourists of around 15%. The most preferred tourism segments during this season are religious tourism as well as culture, adventure, archeology, ecotourism and relaxation. This greatly impact local communities, as international tourists spend, on average, US$96.63 per day, said Mr. Ricardo Sagastume, president of the Sustainable Tourism Commission of AGEXPORT.
Holy Week is one of the peak seasons for member companies of this commission, with tourists (both national and international) booking rooms in different hotels as far as three months in advance.
Our companies seek to impact tourists with the different beauties that our country offers. This is the main reason why we offer top-class tourism services, with a sustainability approach, such as “glamping”. Glamping combines the experience of camping with the luxuries that the best hotels would offer. These experiences are offered at Monterrico beach and Puerto Barrios, as well as the colonial city of Antigua Guatemala by our member company ‘Agencia de Turismo Global’ (Agetur), remarked Mrs. Dagmar Moreno, coordinator of the Sustainable Tourism Commission of AGEXPORT.
On relaxation tourism, Santa Teresita Hotel & Thermal Spa, located in Amatitlan, offers a variety of packages, offering access to its thermal pools, massages, jacuzzis and food. As for cultural tourism, Uxlabil EcoHotel offers birdwatching activities, cultural and natural trails full of history and legends aboard the Atitlan Cruise. All these as friendly, secure and comfortable alternatives to travel around the most beautiful lake in the world and its surrounding towns of San Antonio Palopó, San Juan La Laguna, Santiago Atitlán and San Marcos La Laguna.
Additionally, the Jardines del Lago hotel in Panajachel, Solola, offers during the summer season a variety of sales as well as an ‘all inclusive’ package (including accommodation, food, and kayaks, among other amenities).
The most-preferred segments requested by tourists are adventure and archeology, which is why the Sustainable Tourism Commission joined forces with the Development Division (both of AGEXPORT) to promote the archeological sites of Yaxhá, Uaxactún and the Carmelita community in Peten, promoting social, environmental and economic development in these communities. For example, the Ixpanpajul Natural Park offers a wide range of services, from accommodation to ‘ecotourism’: canopy, bonfires, night safaris, horse rides, among others; said Mrs. Moreno.