Bolivia Tourism Office said on Friday that it has canceled the 2019 International Travel & Tourism Events in Bolivia due to a Zika virus outbreak, the latest setback in a long-running struggle to get tourists to visit Bolivia due in part to the country’s chronic poverty.
The travel agency said it would cancel the 2019 trip of 20 international tourists, including those from the US, who had visited the country since December.
The statement came two days after the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it had suspended the 2018 and 2019 international travel by more than 1,100 Bolivians, a large number of them students.
The statement came as the US government announced that it would lift travel restrictions on the country in the coming weeks, citing the Zika pandemic as the reason.
Bolivia, one of Latin America’s poorest countries, has faced a number of setbacks over the past several years as the Zika outbreak has made travel a much more difficult prospect.
But the government has taken a more direct approach to the pandemic and is attempting to improve the countrys image.
President Evo Morales has vowed to tackle the pandemics head on, calling it a “political crisis.”
He has repeatedly emphasized the need for the world to take urgent steps to prevent the spread of the virus and has called for more international help in combating the spread.