Paraguay is not a major tourist destination as there is no influx of international tourists, with the exception of Brazilians who come to Paraguayan border towns to buy imported goods thanks to the favourable exchange rate and reduced taxes on electronics, alcohol and most duty-free items. However, Paraguay has seen a significant boom in the tourism sector in recent years, thanks to the opening of new hotels, new paved highways and major efforts by the National Tourism Council to attract the attention of local and international travellers.
An important economic fact is that Paraguay is the fifth largest exporter of soya in the world. So expect hundreds of square kilometres of soya plantations, especially in the south-eastern, eastern and north-eastern regions.
Paraguay is also a renowned producer of beef. So don’t be surprised to see cattle eating grass just inches from the highways, especially in the Chaco region and in the department of Misiones. Despite this, Paraguay is the second poorest country in South America in terms of GDP per capita and it is common to see beggars asking for money at the crossroads in Asunción, as is the case in many other Latin American capitals.
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