Businesswire – 9 of the top 10 fastest growing destinations are Central American
Tourism in Latin America and the Caribbean has recovered, according to data from Visa Consulting & Analytics (VCA).
Visa’s consulting division analyzed face-to-face transactions made with Visa credentials in Latin America and the Caribbean during the months of March 2020 (prior to the implementation of health measures related to COVID-19) and March 2022 and identified an increase in both the use of credentials for face-to-face transactions and international transactions, that is, those carried out with credentials issued outside the country in which they were used.
For reference, when comparing the number of transactions between March 2020 and March 2022, the average growth in the number of international transactions made with Visa in the region doubled.
The study listed the destinations in Latin America and the Caribbean that recorded the largest increase in Visa transactions made by international travelers in March 2022, compared to March 2020.
Destinations in Central America and the Caribbean had the highest growth in the number of international face-to-face transactions made with Visa: of the top 10 fastest growing destinations, 9 are in this sub-region. The Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and Costa Rica occupied the first places in the classification, followed by El Salvador, Paraguay, Aruba, Honduras, Guatemala, Panama and Belize.
The Visa Consulting & Analytics consulting team also analyzed the countries with the highest number of unique credentials that made international transactions in March 2022 in Latin America and the Caribbean. The countries and territories with the highest number of international visitors who made face-to-face transactions with Visa were Argentina, Puerto Rico, Brazil and Chile.
“International tourists have increased the use of Visa credentials for payments when traveling to Latin America and the Caribbean. This is due to a greater understanding of the benefits associated with the use of digital payments, such as security and convenience, and the broader acceptance of these types of payments compared to previous years. Digital cards and credentials have become a staple of everyday life and consumer travel,” said Javier Vázquez, Visa Consulting & Analytics leader for Latin America and the Caribbean.
In addition to security and convenience, another fact that stands out in the study is that travelers are taking advantage of new technologies. International contactless transactions also increased by nearly 53% across Latin America and the Caribbean in March 2022 compared to March 2020. This is a direct result of increased adoption of this technology and a number growing number of businesses that can accept this type of payment. The countries with the highest growth in the number of international contactless transactions during the analyzed period included Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, the Dominican Republic and Panama.
“Our analysis also shows that Latin American and Caribbean countries are increasingly popular with European tourists. In March 2022, the majority of visitors to the region came from Italy, Spain, France and Portugal,” said Vázquez.
The study was conducted based on VisaNet transaction data from March 2020 and March 2022 comparing the number of transactions, nominal dollar spend, and the number of Visa credentials that transacted in the specified period and countries. The study included the following countries and territories in the Latin American and Caribbean region: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Curaçao, Dominica , Ecuador, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Cayman Islands, Turks and Caicos Islands, British Virgin Islands, US Virgin Islands, Jamaica, Montserrat, Nicaragua, Insular Netherlands, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Martin.