Venezuela seeks tourists
Considering Venezuela boasts the highest waterfall in the world, utterly beautiful Caribbean islands and dense jungles, complemented by soaring ocean views, it’s a wonder there aren’t more tourists flocking for a truly unique experience.
Or perhaps not – the South American nation has long neglected its tourism industry, instead selling off vast quantities of oil in order to sustain its economy. But this is all about to change, and with a little luck, Venezuela could well be flying high on the holiday hotspot rankings in the near future.
It’s going to take a lot of work, however. Much of the country relies on extremely outdated infrastructure and travellers are inevitably wary of the high crime rates that frequently make headline news in the West.
Hotels, domestic flights and roads are all lacking, which is why a paltry 700,000 international visitors choose to come here every year.
Andres Izarra, Venezuela’s new tourism minister, is among those who says that the times are changing. “Our goal is to reach one million foreign tourists from 2014,” he determined, showing that his ambition is certainly not lacking.
In order to help pull visitors, Mr Izarra confirmed that two tropical islands that were previously closed to the public, are set to be reopened this summer – La Tortuga and La Orchila.
However, a lack of attractions is not perceived to be Venezuela’s problem by Marilucy Beltran, president of the Venezuelan Association of Travel and Tourism Agencies.
“Here, everything is separate: the flight, the hotel, excursions,” she said, in claiming that a failure to capitalise on package holidays had done the sector no favours whatsoever.
Whether you’d rather wait until changes are introduced to the country to make it more tourist-friendly, or are tempted by the thought of stunning beaches without tourists, it’s important to do your research for your holiday beforehand. Always be sure you have adequate travel insurance in case of emergencies.