According to the Nicaraguan head of the Ministry of Tourism Integration (SICA), Anasha Campbell, tourism in Central America has had a positive and steady growth for over 10 years and it became the primary sector reducing poverty in the region.
Tourism reduces poverty since it has cross-sector links including health, education and security. The industry provides many opportunities to generate revenue in Central America.
In 2013 the region welcomed more than 9 million tourists, 4% more than in 2012, which resulted in foreign exchange revenues increase by more than $11,000 million, according to Ms. Campbell.
The data from the Dominican Republic show that last year the country attracted 13.7 million tourists. The expenditures of tourists reached $16.024 million which highly benefited the economic development in Central America and Dominican Republic.
According to Ms. Campbell, tourism sector generates significant amount of jobs all across the region. Currently there are 200,000 jobs in tourism not taking into account indirect jobs.
However she pointed out that the high prices of air travel is a serious factor limiting further development of tourism in Central America. Currently, 30 to 40 minute long flight between Central American countries usually costs $500- $700, depending on the occupancy of flights.