Paraguay received 1.5 million tourists in 2017, to which are added more than 3 million hikers, those who do not spend the night in the country, informed the head of the National Secretariat of Tourism (Senatur), Sofía Montiel.
Montiel said in an interview with state TV channel Paraguay TV that foreign tourists and hikers spent $ 619 million during the past year, while the 2.5 million Paraguayans who did domestic tourism in 2017 spent $ 155 million.
Although the new head of Senatur was satisfied with the figures, he said that it is necessary to "continue working for the visibility" of Paraguay as a competitive destination and highlight the nature, the variety of ecosystems and the autochthonous culture with the creation of circuits that offer this variety.
In addition, he put special interest in enhancing domestic tourism and facilitate middle class families know the attractions of their own country with routes close to their places.
Montiel alluded to the campaign "Take a tour of your country" and the importance of "breaking seasonality" so that Paraguayans decide to travel also on weekends, without having to wait for vacations.
"We are looking for that rescue of that local empowerment, proud of what we have in the town and the city," he said.
However, facing the summer, Senatur is already working on exploiting two of its main summer attractions: the city of San Bernardino, a recreational site for the Asuncenos, for its proximity to the capital, and points like Carmen del Paraná, near of the border with Argentina, as destination of fluvial beach, or Hernandarias, in the border with Brazil.
The Senatur also aims to highlight the beauty of the Chaco, in the north of the country, for its "particularity with this landscape so emblematic, that it attracts the attention of Europeans, Asians".
For this reason, in the coming weeks the Museum of the Gran Chaco Paraguayo will begin to be established, to learn about the fauna and flora of the place and the historical sites that surround it.
In this regard, the Paraguayan Government is working to ensure that the Pantanal, in the northeast of the country, is declared a World Heritage Site.
Montiel acknowledged in this interview with public television that tourism still needs to alleviate some shortcomings that will require the case of other ministries, as in the case of security or infrastructure.
"A destination can not be positioned or commercialized if it is insecure, it is necessary to take measures in coordination with other institutions, such as the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Public Works and Communications (MOPC), which has interference with the (Patrol) Road , with the National Police, the Tourism Police, to give guarantees to the tourist that arrives in the country, "said the head of Senatur.
He also referred to the need to improve access points to the country and the roads themselves, whose state often makes it difficult to reach tourist spots.