Tourism development in Venezuela has restrictions
Laws and tourism fairs have tried to increase the sector's productivity
The tourism authorities also informed that incoming tourism has grown. Recently, the 2012 International Tourism Fair of Venezuela (Fitven), held from September 6 to September 9 at the Teresa Carreño Theater in Caracas (the capital city of Venezuela), hosted about 37,103 visitors, an official notifice remarked.
In the fair, Minister of Tourism Alejandro Fleming underscored that between January and July this year, Venezuela has welcomed 477,752 foreign visitors, a 32 percent increase compared with the same period last year.
The advertising campaign "Venezuela, visiting it is your destiny," has been presented in some international fairs, such as those of Berlin, World Travel Market in London, and China, among others. According to the Minister, important communication alliances have been accomplished to promote tourism in Venezuela in the international media, like Euronews, Eurosport, Petit Futé and Excelencia.
Nevertheless, during Hugo Chávez administration, four laws regulating the tourism sector have been passed.
Spokespersons of tourism unions and employers associations have been questioning the fact that in each of those laws, the Government has gradually gained ground in decision making, meted higher fines and penalties to tourism service suppliers, and centralized tourism, thus hampering the possibilities for expansion of private capital. The nationalization policy has also touched the sector. Today, the State, through the state-run travel agency Venezolana de Turismo (Venetur), runs 13 hotels in different areas of Venezuela.
The Venezuelan government has also used hotel facilities to house people who lost their dwellings due to heavy rains and the Amuay refinery disaster. Tourism representatives have voiced their solidarity to the people in need, but they also have denounced that they had suffered massive losses and that the Government has not honored its commitments.
Translated by Andreína Trujillo
Luis Jiménez Alfaro seems to have hidden under the rocks. The last time he was seen was on April 2006 walking calmly around Simón Bolívar International Airport of Maiquetía, located nearby Caracas. At that time, more than five tons of cocaine arrived in Mexico in an airplane which took off from Venezuela, and his name featured as a missing piece of the puzzle of one of the most massive drug shipments that has been witnessed in the Western Hemisphere.