Tourism in Latin America: Record growth for 2024

Latin America is experiencing a remarkable tourism renaissance, with a significant increase in international visitors surpassing pre-pandemic levels in 2019. The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), in collaboration with ForwardKeys, has revealed promising data for 2024 that testifies to this upward trend, particularly in the first half of this year.


Impressive growth in tourism

Credit: WTTC

Credit: WTTC

According to the WTTC, Latin America is expected to welcome 12% more international visitors than during the same period in 2019. This growth is particularly notable in countries such as Nicaragua (+142%), Guatemala (+52%), Honduras (+49%), Costa Rica (+35%), Mexico (+31%), and Colombia (+23%), with El Salvador leading the way with a forecast 157% increase in arrivals.

This positive trend is supported by an increase in airline capacity, with the number of seats offered up 16% on 2019, totalling 62.3 million seats in the first half of the year.


Cancún, Panama and Mexico City in the lead

The airports of Cancún, Panamá, and Ciudad de México stand out as the main hubs for this growth, with Cancún forecasting a 45% increase in the number of international passengers, representing 6.8 million travellers.


Key outbound markets

The United States, Canada, Mexico, Spain and Germany have been identified as the main outbound markets for the region, underlining the importance of these countries to Latin America’s tourism dynamism.


A regional commitment to tourism

Julia Simpson, President and CEO of the WTTC, underlines Latin America’s commitment to the travel and tourism sector, not only through this encouraging data but also through the joint efforts of the public and private sectors to stimulate growth in the sector. Olivier Ponti, Vice President Insights at ForwardKeys, adds that this growth reflects the efforts of local governments and the private sector to promote tourism in the region.



An increase in occupancy rates

CoStar data shows that occupancy rates in the region (including Mexico and the Caribbean) have risen from 58.7% in 2022 to 61.2% in 2023, surpassing even the 2019 figures.



Latin America is firmly positioned as a destination of choice on the world tourism scene, with growth exceeding expectations. This positive trend is eloquent testimony to the region’s resilience and appeal, offering promising prospects for the future of Latin American tourism.


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