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A Refined Tourism Approach Takes Root in Guatemala

Article Summary:

Tourists do not come to Guatemala, they come to certain tourist hotspots in Guatemala. So the government is considering abandoning its traditional approach of marketing the nation as a whole and move toward marketing destinations instead.

Photo Credit: American Pictures

Original Article Text From El Periodico via Google Translate :

“Tourists do not come to Guatemala, reach certain Areas”

Peter Tarlow, PhD, founder and president of Tourism & More, is a world renowned speaker and expert specializing in the impact of crime and terrorism in the industry without chimneys. Since 1990, Tarlow has taught courses on the subject. By visiting Guatemala shared his knowledge with the industry.

Is it a problem present in Guatemala insecurity for tourism?
- I do not mean problem, challenge or defiance prefer to call it. I think much has changed Guatemala and now the challenge is to change the perception of the country in their new reality. I will not say he has no problems, almost no place in the world that does not have problems but Guatemala was once a much more difficult for a tourist. Now the challenge is to continue to progress and declare the safest country in Central America. I’m not trying to compare to Guatemala with Switzerland and Denmark, that seems unfair. But in the neighborhood, in which the country finds itself, Guatemala should be very proud of all the progress you have made.

Should we attack the problem of insecurity globally?
- Maybe it’s a mistake to think of Guatemala itself. Tourists do not come to Guatemala, reach certain tourist hotspots in Guatemala. So maybe what we need to do is not think about Guatemala as an elephant and other small pieces thinking where tourists can send without problem and that obviously helps across the country with increasing income. It should be a workable plan, but not a big plan that never solve. There are seven or eight key locations where 98 percent are tourists, you can start there.

And for all kinds of tourism, should be equal shares?
- Here in Guatemala we have different plans for regions or tourist hotspots. The kind of security for people who want to do deep sea fishing is different from that required the person who wants to see the ruins of Tikal, or as a person who is business in downtown Guatemala City. Different measures have to be flexible. We must have the ability to transform the national internal changes.

Any good example tourism in the region?
- As a promotion, I would say Costa Rica. But the reality is that Guatemala has so much to offer, but the Ticos are excellent in promoted and that is something that would be good for Guatemala. Compared to other countries, El Salvador has enough people dedicated to tourist safety, but also has its problems. I do not see it as competition to Honduras at this time, maybe just a city. Nicaragua is a safe place, but not touristy. Panama is making many very interesting projects, such as health insurance to all tourists, for a month, to enter the country.

The Government’s strategy of more police and military on the streets, can be counterproductive for tourism?
- Few times. Perhaps one of the most successful countries current tourism is Israel, where a large number of police and soldiers in the streets. Even what we learn is that it depends on the training, not the number of people. If I come authoritatively wrong.

But if you arrive with special training, know how to behave and act. Tourists enjoy the place more, spend more money and have a high tendency to want to return.

Should one change the meaning of some concepts?
- Instead of saying that they are just people with guns to kill you, are vigilant of welfare. They are seen as people to help, not as a threat.

Link to Original Article:

From el Periodico

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