Bolivia’s Tourism Extends to New Markets
Though Bolivia may be one of South America’s smaller countries, its tourist attractions are anything but scarce. In 2017, it was awarded the World Travel Award for the Best Cultural Destination.
One example of its cultural richness is The Grand Party of Tarija. This annual celebration, which occurs during the months of August and September, features music festivals, religious ceremonies, fireworks and dances to commemorate Saint Roch. It has drawn so much attention that in 2021, UNESCO gave it a spot on the Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
However, Bolivia not only shines with its cultural attractions, but its natural wonders as well. Some of its top ten attractions include Eduardo Avaroa Andean Fauna National Reserve, Isla de la Luna and the Torotoro National Park.
With all its unique destinations, many are not aware of what Bolivia has to offer. That is why various departments of Bolivia’s government are working to attract more tourists to this landlocked marvel.
Looking to Europe
Earlier this month, The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Plurinational State of Bolivia partnered with the Vice Minister of Foreign Trade Integration, the Vice Minister of Tourism and the Embassy of Bolivia in the Netherlands to present the course “Market Intelligence in Tourism to Attract Tourists from the European Market,” attended by over sixty members of the tourism sector in Bolivia.
Throughout the course, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Trade and Integration, Benjamin Blanco emphasized the history, tradition and nature that Bolivia has to offer, which many Europeans may find appealing.
Simone Snoeijenbos, the Market Intelligence Manager for the Center for the Promotion of Imports from Developing Countries, was also present for the course. There, she highlighted the importance of understanding the needs of the European tourism market to best peak European tourists’ attention.
The Center itself gathers information on understanding European tourism through tools such as market studies and webinars.
Promoting Bolivia’s Assets
Another approach that the Bolivian government is utilizing is to look inward. With its National Strategic Plan of the Bicentennial, the Center for the Promotion of Imports from Developing Countries aims to promote at least 200 iconic tourist attractions within Bolivia. This program, better known as “200 years, 200 destinations,” hopes to attract tourism within the country itself.
“In the case of wine production, 6 departments and 32 municipalities have been identified that count on this potential, [this is] the first instance we have worked in the departments of La Paz, Tarija and Chuquisaca in the Wine Route,” according to Eliana Ampuero, Vice Minister of Tourism.
To promote Bolivia’s fine wine, a wine fair was held in March of this year in Camargo. This four day long festival brought together exhibitors from various corners of the country. According to Ampuero, they showcased both the tourism and productive potential that Bolivia has to offer. Leading up to the event, she detailed the following:
“We are going to count on a variety of exhibitions, we will have music, gastronomy, crafts, tourism, production …This is what we are going to experience these [upcoming] days in Camargo. So far we have reports [sic] from the Organizing Committee, that more than 100 exhibitors will be at the fair.”
She also thanked the Minister of Productive Development and Plural Economy, alongside the Vice Ministers of Commerce, Internal Logistics and Tourism for organizing the festival because it both enhances Bolivia’s wine production and promotes it to worldwide markets.
Along with the wine festival, Bolivia is also promoting its national treasures through the “Meet Bolivia” contest. Ampuero, alongside the Ministry of Productive Development and Plural Economy, has announced this contest to encourage travelers to submit thirty second to one minute long videos that promote Bolivia’s tourist destinations.
“We want to announce the call for the national contest, ‘Meet Bolivia,’ starting [on April 3, 2023]. This contest consists of people, during their trips, developing a video [that shows] the tourist potential of the site visited or about the municipality, community or locality where they live. The materials will be presented on the different social media [platforms] of the Ministry,” explained Ampuero.
The videos that meet the requirements will be published on the Facebook page of the Vice Ministry Tourism. There, viewers can vote for their favorite videos.
“Each like or love will add one point, each comment of at least four words will add five points and each time it is shared will add five points,” Ampuero specified.
The three videos with the highest score by 12:00 p.m. on Wednesday, May 31st, will be the winners.
The first place winner will have the opportunity to choose between the following options:
- A trip for two to the cities of Rurrenabaque, Madidi and Pampas.
- A trip for to Salar de Uyuni and Lagunas de Colores.
- A trip for two to Tarija to visit the Wine Route.
The second place winner will choose between the two options that remain, and the third place winner will visit the destinations that were not formerly selected.
Airfare and lodging will be provided for all the winners as well.
Those who are interested in applying before May 31st can email [email protected] and/or visit https://conocebolivia.produccion.gob.bo/elementor-5198/ to learn more about the requirements.
Nicole Fuches | Latin American Correspondent, Latina Republic
Nicole is an undergraduate student at the University of California, Los Angeles with a major in Spanish and Linguistics. She is very excited to be a part of Latina Republic as a Latin American Correspondent because thanks to her major, she understands the importance of diversity. Since Latina Republic sheds light on local communities that many take for granted, she knows that this organization encourages precisely that. By joining the team, she feels very privileged to be able to do the same. She looks forward to expanding global awareness on the stories of such communities by exploring social justice issues in Argentina, Bolivia, Paraguay, and Uruguay. For more stories by Nicole, follow her on Twitter @nicolesf24.