The association met with authorities of the Central American country and proposes the creation of a working group to promote the development of aviation in the country
The Latin American and Caribbean Air Transport Association (ALTA) participated in a series of meetings with Guatemalan authorities, which had the purpose of strengthening collaboration ties to foster a competitive environment that strengthens the country’s development and connectivity.
The Executive Director & CEO of ALTA, José Ricardo Botelho, participated in an agenda of meetings that included meetings with Antonio Maloufl, Minister of Economy of Guatemala; Fernando Morra, Vice Minister of Economy; Shirley Aguilar, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs; and Francis Argueta, General Director of Civil Aeronautics (DGAC); together with Marcela Toriello, President of the Board of Directors of TAG Airlines, and Julio Alejandro Gamero, CEO of TAG Airlines.
In the meetings, where a proactive atmosphere prevailed, the need to implement measures to reduce rates that weigh on the travel and tourism sector was discussed, which slow down the reactivation of jobs in the sector and, to a certain extent, discourage the capacity to increase the competitiveness of its destinations and turn the country into a tourist power. The efficient imposition of taxes has a highly positive and immediate impact on the development of the industry, the number of passengers and flights, as well as on the development of businesses related to the travel and tourism sector. Travel and tourism contributed almost 6% of GDP to the local economy and 6.1% of jobs (404 thousand) in 2019 according to WTTC data.
“From ALTA we thank Tag Airlines, a member airline since 2021, for the welcome, as well as the authorities for the exchange of ideas to generate a positive joint agenda that continues to improve the business environment for the development of the country’s competitiveness. It is a priority for us to build bridges between the industry and governments to identify opportunities to optimize costs, generate greater opportunities for air transport users and support the economic and social development of our countries”, said the CEO of ALTA.
The executive highlighted the opportunity to reduce costs for the industry, creating jobs, developing infrastructure and promoting air travel by working together with all the countries of the Central American Integration System (SICA), which includes Guatemala, Costa Rica, El Salvador , Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Belize and the Dominican Republic. Starting with the CA-4, which is the Central American Agreement on Free Mobility incorporated into SICA, which has the objective of allowing the intra-regional transit of nationals from Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua without the need to use a passport and with expedited immigration instruments. .
“We trust that, through joint work with the authorities, we will be able to promote more connectivity, tourism development, which translates into more jobs and social welfare. Guatemala that has fantastic tourism potential with impressive history and natural beauty. Tourism is a powerful engine for generating socioeconomic well-being for the population. We have great examples in other countries such as Colombia and Chile on how the reduction in rates immediately translates into the activation of a wide value chain that generates opportunities for the population”, added Botelho.
Guatemala is only 4% below its air capacity levels vs. 2019, however, to take advantage of all its tourist potential, it is necessary to improve the infrastructure, especially in La Aurora. In this sense, ALTA requested the creation of a working group made up of actors from the aviation and tourism industry, as well as from the Guatemalan government, in which the technical issues necessary to promote tourism and travel in the region and work together to achieve tangible goals. “We are ready and under orders to contribute,” said Botelho.