The Costa Rica News (TCRN) – The Guatemalan tourism industry, which received in 2013 for the first time more than two million foreigners, struggles to consolidate although in the last five years the hotel rooms were only half occupied.

In this way one can conclude from a research recently released and conducted by the Association for Research and Social Studies (ASIES), that analyzes the behavior of the Guatemalan tourism industry with the name “State of the Tourism Sector in Guatemala from 2013 to 2014”.

Guatemala received in 2013 2.5 percent more tourists than in 2012 and the first four months of 2014 the growth was 11.4 percent compared to the same period last year, according to figures from the state Guatemalan Institute of Tourism (INGUAT).

The two million foreigners visiting Guatemala in 2013 (historical record figure) spent 1,480 million dollars in the Central American country, 4.3 percent more than the 1,418 million a year ago.

The study notes that “nearly half of the hotel capacity remains idle” because every night, 45 of 100 rooms were vacant in 2013.

The figure is identical to that of 2011 and the average of the last six years stands at 50 out of 100 vacant rooms every night.

Tourists have also reduced their stay in the country of the cradle of Mayan civilization. Violeta Hernández, analyst of Asies, said that five years ago the tourists spent on average five nights in Guatemala, and that figure has dropped to three nights per visit in 2013.

This reduction “responds to a global trend towards multi-destinations” according to INGUAT, which addressed the issue in a statement in which it states that “tourists now visit various destinations within the same country or region.”

The Costa Rica News (TCRN)

San Jose, Costa Rica