Venezuela: “paradise in search of tourists”

Country looks to renew old tourism industry contacts

Venezuela has almost everything tourists would want – the world’s highest waterfall, stunning Caribbean islands and untouched jungles with ocean views, the news agency AFP reports. It boasts the Orinoco Delta, Andean peaks, coral reefs and hundreds of kilometres of beaches. But there are no tourists.

Suffering from an image problem, and also a tendency to prioritise its massive oil industry, the country attracts only 700,000 visitors a year. It has old hotels and roads and high crime rates, and it lacks domestic flights. Now, however, the government in Caracas is working to change this.

From 2014, Venezuela’s new tourism minister Andres Izarra says, “Our goal is to reach one million foreign tourists.”

A new campaign by the ministry has resulted in air routes opening, airports being renovated and contacts with the tourism industry being renewed. Two tropical islands closed to the public (La Tortuga and La Orchila) may soon be opened.

AFP

[pictured: A palafito, a village erected on water]

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