Venezuela not so Chévere

On September 22nd we came across this Tweet:

TweetRNVIt reads, more or less, “8.92 million tourists confirm that #Venezuela is the most #Chévere [cool] destination”.

This tweet seemed kind of misleading… and we were right.

Those 8.92 million were domestic tourists, Venezuelans that mobilized throughout the country during the summer holidays. This number also meant that domestic tourism increased by 22.23% in one year.

Many like to stay in Venezuela during the holidays. But there are many others that simply can’t afford to travel abroad. And those that can afford it probably weren’t able to get a plane ticket.

Izarra himself estimated a [rather low] 7% decrease in outbound tourism in 2014 and a [rather high] 1.6% increase of inbound tourism. This last number seems even crazier when we remember that inbound tourism decreased by 17.7% in 2013.

Now, don’t get us wrong: we love Venezuela. But it’s a fact that international tourism has declined due to high crime levels and poor infrastructure.

It’s not surprising that despite being ranked 24th for its natural resources, the World Economic Forum ranked Venezuela third from last in the region and 113th overall in terms of travel and tourism competitiveness. The WEF explains:

“among the most important concerns are a lack of safety and security (ranked 131st), the low prioritization of the tourism industry (120th), and a policy environment that is not conducive to the development of the sector (137th). Property rights are not well protected in the country, and FDI is not encouraged (ranked 140th, last out of all countries, for both indicators). Further, Venezuela receives the poorest assessment of all countries for its affinity for Travel & Tourism (140th). In addition, infrastructure is in need of significant upgrading, particularly ground transport infrastructure (ranked 139th)”.

So Venezuela isn’t the coolest tourist destination per se. For many, Venezuela is the only possible tourist destination.

13 thoughts on “Venezuela not so Chévere

  1. Early this year I plotted the following chart:

    Aruba, which is 4748 times smaller than Venezuela, receives now more than twice as many tourists as our country. When the military thugs came to power in Venezuela Aruba was receiving less tourists than Venezuela.


  2. great concluding sentence, AA/BL. If I may, your penultimate sentence contains a link, not to Word Economic Forum, but to World Economic Forum.


  3. If you subtracted from the equation all the inbound tourists who are visiting family or involved in organized crime, I think you’d probably come up with a number like 1000 foreign tourists per year, all of them from Belorussia or Absurdistan.


  4. OT: Anyone catch the pilot of ‘Madame Secretary’ and it’s Venezuela bad guys portrayal? The first half an hour is full of evil Venezuela mentions. I’m surprised the Bananazuelan regime (Delcy R.) have not gone ape-shit over this portayal like they did a month ago with ‘Legends’ on TNT garnering an apology from Fox21. I think Maduro was in NYC when the pilot aired…I can see him and wife cozying up to the TV in their hotel suite….


  5. I came across this article regarding tourism in Venezuela. According to the article, 600,000 foreigners visited Venezuela in 2012, only half of them tourists. I assume the numbers for 2014 have been further reduced to the political unrest.

    Mexico gets 23 million tourists annually, despite the drug crisis. Even that midget country Puerto Rico receives 4 million people every year. Venezuela has Angel Falls and the Roraima mountains and yet come up with a meager 300,000. It’s so pathetic…


  6. And foreign tourists just love the fact that if they use a credit or debit card they get charged at the Bs.6,3 rate.


  7. The only real attraction to Venezuela could be the exchange rate at the black market…..then our country will be the cheapest in America!! Including gas at a 3 and a half pennies per galon!


  8. Well, no shit. I’ve travelled to Venezuela on multiple occasions (I’m native European) and the welcoming of tourists is just awful. There are lots of beautiful spots around, but getting there is dangerous or an headache. Margarita was not as good as expected, and I guess it’s just gone downhill since 2006. Hotels in disrepair and cold showers. I don’t see why anybody would go there, except adventurous youths maybe. And it IS expensive now, maybe that accounts for some of the loss in demand. That said, I had a good time most of the time :) The best thing was probably Mérida. I’ve also been to Cuba, a quite pleasant experience overall.


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