Artículos en Inglés
Translated/Edited into English by Daniela Barrientos
In 1992, El Salvador successfully concluded the negotiations leading to the Peace Accords, signed in Castillo de Chapultepec, Mexico. We are, without a doubt, exemplary in negotiations, a Universal example that peace can be achieved through negotiations. Our Peace Accords are widely studied in different classes, such as in political science, foreign relations and business, and history studies.
Year after year students arrive in northern Morazan to learn about the Ruta de Paz, its history, and the causes of the Salvadoran war, narrated by those who lived through it. It is fascinating how so many foreigners take the time to study this recent event in Salvadoran history. Being an example to other countries, we possess a diamond we have yet to polish in a strategic way to increase tourism. The iconic Perkin in the Ruta de Paz, contains important characteristics that developed correctly could bring new markets. Perkin’s history, great climate and magical sites creates an “attraction” factor in many visitor’s minds that can awaken interest in visiting Perkin.
If we take advantage of the historical attractiveness unique to Perkin, and we are creative we can easily obtain the most out of this treasure, similar to countries like Italy, Spain, Germany, and others, who have successfully developed Academic Tourism. This type of tourism includes foreign exchange students staying at superior academic centers outside of their native countries. Just to name one of the many foreign universities that have a campus in Rome, Italy is Trinity College from Hartford, Connecticut. Its Foreign campus opened its doors in Rome in 1970, offering students to experience a semester abroad in The Eternal City. It would be an inspirational boost to our academic tourism here in El Salvador, if we could begin the same tradition here.
Academic Tourism can produce direct, indirect, and induced economic growth. The direct impacts are those generated by the money spent by students at their destination. The indirect impact is from the demand for goods and services, including equipment and housing, and the induced comes from the increase in employment and salaries created by the money tourists spend.
The Salvadoran government has the historical opportunity to change northern Morazan into a college town. MITUR and MINED have the most strategic job in this process: they need to facilitate foreign and national universities to invest in northern Morazan so that they construct top rated installations that are adequate to receive students from all over the world. To achieve this, the destination has to be attractive enough, the government needs to invest in improving the infrastructure that supports tourism, and the environment, local products and services, transport quality, regional organization and the investment in business, also are top priorities that must evolve to ensure success.
Can we imagine how wonderful it will be to have a college town in El Salvador? Full of life, high quality services, the best academic classes, with national and foreign students, and constantly visiting family members that are demanding all types of services? Wow! I invite the MITUR, and the Central Government in general, to develop a national strategy to seek Academic Tourism that will result in a benefit for the whole country in every aspect!