Travel and Tourism - Paraguay - April 2009
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Despite being a relatively large country that has played a pivotal cultural and historic role in South America’s make-up, in the wider world Paraguay is a virtually unknown quantity. Much of the reasoning for this low visibility is due to the country’s long association with a succession of strong-arm dictators who for almost a century and a half have limited the country’s global presence. In the 1990s though, free and fair democratic elections were held and since then Paraguay has progressed with a reformative period that looks both stable and capable of taking the country forward.
At present, Paraguay’s earnings from tourism are low. However, in August 2008, it published its Tourism Masterplan, laying out its intention and the steps necessary for an increase in tourism income from US$101.790 million in 2007 to as much as US$496.993 million by 2018. In order to achieve the Masterplan’s objective levels of growth, there are two key negative elements that Paraguay must overcome. First, the low visibility of the country as a tourism destination in the bigger spending market countries needs to be addressed. Then once these tourists are in Paraguay, there must be an infrastructure that encourages those tourists to stay at least as long as they would in comparable South American destinations.
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