Senatur presents report on 2020 management and challenges for tourism in Paraguay
The presentation was in charge of the head of Tourism, Sofía Montiel de Afara
The National Secretariat of Tourism (Senatur) presented in virtual format, the institutional management report for the year 2020 and the challenges that are expected for the sector next year 2021. The presentation was in charge of the Minister of Tourism, Sofía Montiel de Afara .
Since the arrival of the pandemic, the Senatur developed five strategies that promoted actions for the benefit of the tourism sector in our country. From it, health strategies, to support the tourism industry, to attract visitors, marketing and orange tourism emerge.
During the presentation, the training that the sector had to undergo during the pandemic stood out, reaching more than 580,000 people, among which we can mention, operators, agents, referents of different unions, owners of tourist establishments, which had to be adapted to the requirements demanded by the new normality, mainly in biosanitary matters.
At the same time, virtual courses were held for the tourism sector, financed by the IDB, through a virtual platform that included 4 protocols designed by the Senatur and the private sector, approved by the Ministry of Health, reaching the Gastronomy sectors , Accommodations, Destinations, and Meetings sector.
Compliance with these protocols, led Paraguay to obtain the Safe travels seal, the first global seal of safety and hygiene for travel and tourism, specifically designed to address Covid-19 and provided by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) , placing Paraguay among more than 150 countries that have this distinctive of Safe Destination, which symbolizes a guarantee for international tourists.
Likewise, at the peak of the pandemic, the Senatur managed financial support for the tourism industry, including financial compensation to workers in the sector granted by the Social Security Institute (IPS); deferred and fractional payment of electricity given by ANDE and others.
In addition, the minister thanked the institutions that supported the sector during these months, including the National Development Bank, the Agricultural Habilitation Credit, the Social Security Institute, the National Directorate of Civil Aeronautics, Migrations, the Secretariat of Consumer Defense, the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, the Ministry of Labor, the Ministry of Public Health and Social Welfare, the Ministry of Foreign Relations, Copaco, Bancard and others.
In alliance with the National Emergency Secretariat, 57,330 kilos of food were assisted to affected families in the sector, reaching long-distance carriers, tourist guides and tourist inns in the country.
In financial matters, the National Development Bank awarded USD. 4,000,000 to tourism service providers at 7%, with a one-year grace period, and the Agricultural Habilitation Credit, USD. 98,745, granted to Tourist Inns and Rural Establishments at a rate of 8% over 24 months.
The tax base of tourist services was reduced by 50%, according to Decree No. 3881/2020 "Implementation of special and transitory regimes in the Value Added Tax in tourist services".
Some 668 Operators and Travel Agencies agreed to reschedule their services, without the need for the final consumer to cancel their reservations, through inter-institutional work with the Secretariat for Consumer Defense (Sedeco).
They worked hard on an Internal Tourism campaign called Abrazá Paraguay, Javy´a Paraguáype, with the aim of reactivating the sector at the national level, through tourist attractions, showing in the nature axis: adventure, rural tourism, observation of birds, experiences in the Chaco, fishing; as well as, in the cultural axis, the Jesuit Missions, gastronomy, museums, traditions, ancestral culture, crafts, community rural tourism.
At the same time, the International Tourism Campaign called "Paraguay, Solo para vos" was deployed, with the aim of promoting the country as a tourist destination, working on a digital campaign on social networks, Trip Advisors and Google.
In this framework, 4 webinars were held for Panama, Uruguay, Sao Paulo and Spain and in alliance with the Foreign Ministry, the offer of Paraguay was made known through 5 sessions to diplomatic officials from Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Uruguay, Germany, Spain, France, Austria, Belgium, Italy, Portugal, United Kingdom, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Egypt, Morocco, South Africa, Israel, Lebanon, Qatar, Costa Rica, Cuba, Panama, Mexico, Canada, the United States, the Dominican Republic, Korea, Indonesia, Japan, Taiwan, Australia, and India.
QR codes were incorporated in San Ignacio, Misiones and 12 historical sites of Ñeembucú and Chaco Boreal, in order to merge technology and history; as well as the creation of an experiential tourist offer, revaluing the indigenous culture of the Mbya Guaraní Communities of Carrería Cue in Alto Paraná and Aldea 20 de Enero, el Estribo in Tte. Irala Fernández; training more than 70 members of the communities for the respective tourist guides, offering spaces for the exhibition and sale of handicrafts and experiences of making typical products, songs and dances.
The Jesuit Missions expanded their offer of products, incorporating artistic representations in the Mission of Jesus, with a staging by young residents of the area, with the cooperation of the Jesuit Route.
Senatur has promoted the National System of Tourism Quality, granting quality certificates to 47 gastronomic, hotel, transport, adventure tourism companies, extra-hotel establishments and 22 hotels were categorized under the PNA 5001818 standard of Hotel Categorization of the INTN.
10 fish-based gastronomy workshops were promoted, aimed at owners of Tourist Inns and gastronomic establishments in Central, Misiones, Ñeembucú, Itapúa, Concepción, San Pedro, Presidente Hayes and Canindeyú, with more than 880 participants.
Together with the Paraguayan Touring and Automobile Club, the “Best Baths on the Road” campaign is being carried out, totaling 420 toilets at verified service stations and 6 tourist inns to date, and 40% of inclusive toilets have been detected.
Additionally, 45 new Tourist Inns were inaugurated in 21 locations and 8 departments; and the experiential tourist offer was expanded with the inauguration of the Interpretation Center of the Gran Chaco Americano, the Information Center and Visitor Reception in Tte. First Manuel Irala Fernández; as well as the enhancement of the museography of the Experiential Circuit of the Guaraní World on the shores of Lake Yguazú.
The report concluded by referring to the percentage shown by the last survey carried out regarding the reactivation of Internal Tourism, reaching an average percentage of general occupancy at the national level of 35%, covering 30% in the hotel system and 38% in extra-hotel. .
As for Inbound Tourism, the economic impact of the Covid-19 Health Crisis in the National Tourism Sector shows a loss of approximately -79%, based on the figure registered in 2019, of tourist income worth USD 489,738 .709 and from January to March 2020, tourist income per USD. 100,841,108.