Tourism in Guatemala

Tourism in Guatemala

Guatemala recorded a total of 594,000 tourists in 2020, ranking 119th in the world in absolute terms.

That smaller countries regularly perform lower in a comparison of the absolute number of guests, is obvious. By putting the tourist numbers in relation to the population of Guatemala, the result is much more comparable picture: With 0.035 tourists per resident, Guatemala ranked 153rd in the world. In Central America, it ranked 8th.

In 2020, Guatemala generated around 298.50 million US dollars in the tourism sector alone. This corresponds to 0.35 percent of its the gross domestic product and approximately 2 percent of all international tourism receipts in Central America.

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Back to overview: Guatemala

On average, each of the tourists arriving in 2020 spent about 477 US dollars. Conversely, the inhabitants of Guatemala spend as much as 647 dollars a year when they themselves spend vacations abroad.

Tourism in Guatemala

Development of the tourism sector in Guatemala from 1995 to 2020

The following chart shows the number of tourist arrivals registered in Guatemala each year. Anyone who spends at least one night in the country but does not live there for more than 12 months is considered a tourist. Insofar as the survey included the purpose of the trip, business trips and other non-tourism travel purposes have already been excluded. The number of people passing through within the same day, and e.g., crew members of ships or flights are also not considered tourists in most countries. If the same person travels in and out more than once within the same year, each visit counts again.

Data in the chart are given in millions of tourists. The red line represents the average of all 8 countries in Central America.

Tourists per year in Guatemala

Revenues from tourism

In 1995, tourism revenues amounted to 216.00 million USD, or about 1.5 percent of the gross national product. This corresponded to about 563,000 tourists at that time and roughly 384 USD per person. Within 25 years, the country's dependence on tourism has increased slightly. Before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, sales were $1.23 billion billion, 1.6 percent of gross national product. Thus, each visitor spent an average of $479 on their vacation in Guatemala.

In 2020, tourist receipts plummeted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Of the $1.23 billion billion (2019), only $298.50 million billion remained. This is a 76 percent decrease in Guatemala.

Tourism receipts in Guatemala per year

All data for Guatemala in detail

YearNumber of touristsReceipts% of GNPReceipts per tourist
2020594,000298.50 m $0.38 %503 $
20192.56 m1.23 bn $1.6 %479 $
20182.41 m1.24 bn $1.7 %513 $
20172.12 m1.22 bn $1.7 %574 $
20161.91 m1.20 bn $1.8 %631 $
20151.87 m1.17 bn $1.9 %627 $
20141.74 m1.16 bn $2.0 %670 $
20131.52 m1.16 bn $2.2 %766 $
20121.49 m1.11 bn $2.2 %744 $
20111.43 m1.08 bn $2.3 %751 $
20101.38 m1.05 bn $2.6 %761 $
20091.31 m1.09 bn $2.9 %829 $
20081.72 m1.10 bn $2.9 %640 $
20071.63 m1.06 bn $3.1 %648 $
20061.50 m919.00 m $3.1 %612 $
20051.32 m791.00 m $3.0 %601 $
20041.18 m630.00 m $2.7 %533 $
2003880,000646.00 m $3.0 %734 $
2002884,000647.00 m $3.2 %732 $
2001835,000588.00 m $3.2 %704 $
2000826,000498.00 m $2.6 %603 $
1999823,000374.00 m $2.0 %454 $
1998636,000329.00 m $1.7 %517 $
1997576,000270.00 m $1.5 %469 $
1996520,000221.00 m $1.4 %425 $
1995563,000216.00 m $1.5 %384 $

Our data on tourist numbers, revenues and expenditures are based on information from the World Tourism Organization. However, to ensure international comparability, the data for some years or countries were manually researched and corrected if they obviously included visitors without overnight stays. In these cases, the data were taken from the official communications of the respective national tourism authorities.

The World Tourism Organization additionally points out that in some countries, the number of tourists is only counted at airports, while in others they are also counted at border crossings or even hotels. A comprehensive and reliable indication is therefore hardly possible in any country.

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