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Tourism Winners: El Salvador and Panama

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El Salvador and Panama are the big winners in Latin American tourism. Bolivia and Brazil are the top losers.

BY CHRONICLE STAFF

Mexico and Brazil continue to top the lists of top tourism destinations and moneymakers, but the big winners last year were El Salvador and Panama. El Salvador's tourism receipts grew by 46.5 percent last year, more than any other country in Latin America. Meanwhile, Panama posted the strongest growth in arrivals - 20.1 percent, according to a Latin Business Chronicle analysis of data from the World Tourism Organisation (WTO). The two countries are also seeing strong growth this year.

Other leading receipt winners include Colombia, Panama, Argentina and Guatemala. Measured by arrival growth, the other big winners are El Salvador, Guatemala, Paraguay and Colombia.

RECORD YEAR

All in all, Latin America and the Caribbean registered a record 66.7 million tourists last year, an increase of 2.2 percent from 2005. Tourism receipts reached $53.2 billion revenues, which was 7.9 percent higher than in 2005, the Latin Business Chronicle analysis shows.

The relatively weak growth in arrivals last year is somewhat misleading since...

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