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The Ministry of Economy reports tourism figures up 8.8% for the first quarter of 2013 compared to 2012

(TRAVPR.COM) GUATEMALA - July 1st, 2013 - Guatemala is increasingly becoming one of the most exciting places to visit thanks to its fascinating culture, a mix of indigenous and Spanish populations and its stunning natural beauty report Martsam Travel, specialists in custom-made travel schedules for groups and independent travelers looking for authentic experiences in The Mayan world and Central America.

The Guatemalan government has increased its foreign investment by over 300% since 2003 in an attempt to drive economic growth, stability and improvements in infrastructure.  All of which are necessary to attract multinational hotel chains, cruise and air lines so as capitalize on the presence of 3 UNESCO World Heritage sites  (Antigua, Tikal and Quirigua) as well as provide greater access and conservation of the natural beauty of this Central American country.  

Guatemala saw significant growth in 2012 with $1.42 billion in tourism up from $1.34 billion in 2011. The outlook for 2013 seems to be even more optimistic with the Ministry of Economy reporting tourism figures up 8.8% for the first quarter of 2013 compared to 2012.

Though with 3 UNESCO World Heritage sites keeping visitor interest high, Guatemala presents a unique challenge in balancing access with conservation. Fortunately, the positive increase is all part of a 10-year large-scale sustainable tourism development plan implemented in 2012 by President Otto Pérez.

Guatemala has a lot of unique attributes such as its vast jungles and the Mayan culture - features that don't exist anywhere else in the world. Tourism is the second largest revenue generator in Guatemala, according to Marisol Garcia, the Trade and Investments Advisor.

According to Benedicto Grijalva, Marketing Director of Martsam Travel, around 85% of visitors to Guatemala are attracted by the countries unique culture and heritage. He explains “The end of the Baktun 13 has helped renew global interest in Mayan archaeology and this, along with the living culture of this vibrant multicultural country with 23 different languages and exquisite traditional crafts and textiles, has boosted the popularity of tours that delve into the fascinating past and present of the Maya”

Adventure travel in Guatemala is also burgeoning in response to the demands of adventure and eco-tourists but also as part of an effort by INGUAT and the president to ensure the sustainability of the resources of the country. Visitors have choices beyond the traditional beach and sun holiday and Guatemala is making sure they meet the expectation of visitors with top notch facilities and heavy investment on access.

In February the Guatemalan Tourism Institute (INGUAT) revealed its latest marketing campaign slogan "I'm Guatemala, I'm yours" for the Central and South American markets; and "I'm Guatemala, I am for you" for the international markets. The campaign's focus is educating the world about  the legacy of the Maya as a living culture and heritage to all travelers looking  for an unforgettable experience.

In its latest bid to continue the drive toward growth, the INGUAT announced at the recent Cruise Central Summit 2013 that Guatemala will be part of a new cruise ship route launching in 2014 serviced by Azamara Club Cruises and Royal Caribbean Cruises. The summit provided the scene for more cruise lines looking to break into the market in Guatemala. Also, negotiations are underway for an additional 4 more cruise lines to begin operating in the waters off the coast in the coming months.

About Martsam Travel

Martsam Travel arrange tours and holidays for travel agencies, free independent travellers, business people, NGO´s and educational institutions. They offer customized middle class, first class and luxury tours, as well incentives, honey moon trips and other special tours around Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua and south of Mexico.

Services have been developed under sustainability commitments which support the communities within the destinations, reserves and the eco-tourism projects which contribute to slow down the deterioration of our natural and cultural resources and promote social development.

See more on their website at or visit their Facebook page at


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Name: Benedicto Grijalva
Company: Martsam Travel
Phone: (305) 395-3935
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