Morena Ileana Valdez Vigil has been named Minister of Tourism of El Salvador

Among the challenges it will face is to promote medical tourism and convention tourism, in addition to increasing the country's participation in international fairs

The new Minister of Tourism is a researcher, academic, business administrator, communicator and public relations officer who has dedicated her life to the in-depth study of marketing and advertising, but mainly oriented to exalt the image of El Salvador before the world.

This is how the profile of Morena Ileana Valdez Vigil, the new Minister of Tourism, that President-elect Nayib Bukele presented this Thursday, May 30, begins.

With this new appointment, Valdez becomes the eighth woman who will shape Bukele's future government cabinet from June 1.

Previously, Ana Orellana Bendek was appointed as Minister of Health, Egriselda López, as Ambassador of El Salvador to the United Nations Organization, Karla Hananía de Varela as Minister of Education, Michelle Sol as Minister of Housing, to María Chichilco as Minister. of Local Development, Suecy Callejas as Minister of Culture and Alexandra Hill as Chancellor of the Republic.

In the curriculum of the future minister does not stress that dominates the English language and among its main pastimes is the practice of surfing. It is also known to support gender equity, intrafamily violence, health and family nutrition, child labor, rights of girls, boys and adolescents.

From communications manager in 2011, she spent six years later as National Director of the Country Brand in the Export and Investment Promotion Agency of El Salvador (PROESA), from where she faced the challenge of implementing the comprehensive "Country Image" strategy at the National and international.

For the management of Bukele, the experience acquired by Morena Ileana, will allow her to have a broad vision of how projects should be managed in an integral way and to build strategies of social projects at the national and international level at the head of the Ministry of Tourism (MITUR).

Expectations and challenges for the tourism sector

Tourism for the country has high expectations for different factors such as the good air connectivity of the country, its geographical position, price stability and good competitiveness of tourism, especially in hotels and other accommodation services.

According to Tourism, in 2018 it closed with a visitor growth of 12.9% compared to 2017 and an accumulated growth of 71.1% since 2009.

In 2009, the Ministry of Tourism affirms that 1,481,748 visitors arrived in the country and in 2018 that number rose to 2,535,661.

This number of visitors has allowed income to $ 1,532.61 million in 2018 with an average daily income per person of $ 113.10. It has also resulted in a hotel occupancy in Gran San Salvador of 61.0%.

Official data indicate that in the last seven years, the number of tourist trips within the national territory grew 170%, the profits left by the premises almost tripled so that by the end of 2018 it is expected to exceed $ 274 million.

Therefore, this government entity expects that by the end of 2019 2 million 692 thousand 872 tourists will be reported, a figure that will also be driven by the opening of the Chinese market to El Salvador.

Some of the challenges that the new head of this institution will face will be to complete the Marinera Plaza project in La Libertad, which is executed with funds from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

You must also finish the project of the mountain hotel in Cerro Verde as well as advance in other phases of the Bosque Encantador tourist park.

Another challenge is to promote medical tourism and convention tourism, the reception of more cruises and airlines that establish direct routes with the country that are important anchors to attract more income for the country.

It also has the great challenge of increasing the country's participation in international fairs to place the country in a privileged position.

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