El Salvador Imposes $1,000 Entry Fee on Travelers from India and Africa to Combat Surge in U.S.-Bound Migration

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By LatAm Reports Editor

El Salvador is now charging a $1,000 fee to passengers from India or Africa in an effort to curb migration to the United States via Central America. The country’s port authority mandates that travelers holding passports from India or over 50 African nations must pay this fee, which will go towards upgrades at the nation’s main international airport.

In a recent meeting with Brian Nichols, the US Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele discussed various issues, including the surge in irregular migration. Reports indicate that the US has seen a record 3.2 million migrants encountered by US Customs and Border Patrol in the fiscal year 2023, ending in September. Central America often serves as a transit route for many migrants from Africa and elsewhere striving to reach the US.

Moreover, the total cost for travelers from these regions will amount to $1,130 after including the value-added tax (VAT). This fee, effective since October 23, responds to the increased activity at the country’s primary international airport.

Airlines, including the Colombian carrier Avianca, must now submit daily passenger reports from India and 57 African countries to Salvadoran authorities. Avianca has already begun notifying passengers about the new prerequisite payment before they board flights to El Salvador.

This initiative is part of a broader international trend where countries are introducing additional travel charges. Nations such as Thailand, Barcelona, Valencia, Portugal, Belgium, Venice, Austria, Bhutan, and France have already implemented similar measures.

As European destinations grapple with traffic, housing shortages, and environmental concerns, many are moving away from conventional tourism promotion. These popular locations are adopting anti-tourism policies to combat these challenges.

With international tourist numbers projected to exceed 2 billion by the end of the decade, according to the World Tourism Organization, the pressure is mounting on governments worldwide to manage the impact of mass tourism, leading to the recent adoption of various restrictions.