UNWTO examines potential investment prospects in tourism across Latin American nations

Madrid.- Ecuador, Paraguay, the Dominican Republic and Colombia are leading tourism projects valued at 2,350 million euros (approximately 2,573 million dollars), according to the first investment guides for each country prepared by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) in collaboration with their respective countries’ tourism ministries.

The UNWTO has published seven guides so far, delving into tourism development opportunities in these four Latin American countries, as well as Uzbekistan, Tanzania and Mauritius. The combined potential investment of these projects is estimated at around 5,500 million euros (5,981 million dollars), according to Natalia Bayona, executive director of the Madrid-based organization, told Efe.

The investment projects vary by country. In Colombia and Uruguay, the focus is mainly on hotel and real estate developments, estimated at 274 and 231 million dollars respectively. In Paraguay, investment is directed toward river tourism, interpretation centers, museums, sports infrastructure and airport infrastructure, for a value of 350 million dollars. The Dominican Republic targets investments for a total of 1,718 million dollars, mainly in maritime, road, health construction, innovation centers, film studios, public spaces, golf courses, theme parks, and historical monuments and forts.

These guides detail the types of investments sought (private, public or public-private partnerships) for each project and the potential for job creation, among other aspects. The UNWTO envisions a broader model of promoting tourism investment, incorporating education (investment in people), technology and innovation (for prosperity) and sustainability (for the planet).

Bayona points out that 66% of global tourism investments are concentrated in hotels, which highlights an important diversification opportunity. In Latin America, UNWTO has partnered with CAF (Development Bank of Latin America and the Caribbean) to create guides for some countries. The UNWTO is also working with Chile to showcase the country’s potential at an investment promotion forum on December 7.

The objective is to have a roadmap for almost all of Latin America by the end of 2024 to promote investments within the framework that the UNWTO seeks to standardize. In the last five years, 175.5 billion dollars have been invested in 2,415 tourism projects around the world, with Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America, the Caribbean and the Middle East being the main recipients.

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