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Nicaragua Minister of Tourism Outlines Strategic Tourism Plan

Article Summary:

The future of Nicaraguan tourism is dependent upon cooperation between public and private sectors, says the president of Canatur, Sylvia Levy. “We are confident that in five years we will be fully recognized as a tourism destination; we’re going to surprise you.”

Photo Credit: Prensa Nicaragua

Original Article Text From Prensa Nicaragua via Google Translate :

“The future of Nicaragua’s tourism”

During 2011, official figures validated by the Central Bank of Nicaragua, arrived in the country 1.07 million tourists, a four percent more than in 2010. The permanence of visitors increased by 0.5 days to 7.8 days average, and average daily spending improved by 2.7 to 42.1 dollars and spent dollars. In total, tourism activity generated in the economy of $ 377.1 million last year.

“That’s what we are working in coordination with the Intur, for tourists to stay more days and spend more, then we are looking for various markets seeking various activities to enable them to spend more on a daily basis, to be more revenue for Nicaragua “said the president of the National Chamber of Tourism of Nicaragua (Canatur), Sylvia Ramirez of Levy, who claims that employers have realized that” the future of Nicaragua is definitely tourism. ”

What are the factors that are affecting more tourists to come to Nicaragua?
One factor that we must not forget, and that is paramount is the safety of the country is the safest country in Central America not only, but in Latin America. That is important. It is also important that the Government has given the importance it is necessary, that all contribute to the development of tourism. For example, we are working closely with the Intur, we are working closely with private entrepreneurs as Canatur, we must work with all associations, then that combination, this synergy of private and public is what has generated great results.

It is also important that business we realized that the future of Nicaragua is definitely the tourism industry without chimneys. Well-managed tourism accounts million (dollars) in revenue for the country, and we are a jewel to be discovered, is a diamond in the rough that need polishing and are liking it so much to tourists.
“We are confident that in five years we will be fully recognized with tourism, we’re going to be surprised.”
Sylvia Levy, president of Canatur.

There is a tourism industry that is definitely looking for something else, are looking for live cultures, are looking to go to the northern, rural areas, are looking for eco-tourism, looking for adventure tourism and want a type of tourism that is not of large cities and great beaches, they want right now more involved in more specialized tourism. And thank God that we are doing ourselves.

Is it an international trend that tourists are no longer looking just sun and sand?
Yes, when we were at the meeting in the World Tourism Organization (WTO) as part of Fitur 2012, confirmed what has been saying since last year, that tourists are now looking for new experiences, because that is linked also with the world economy is bad, then they want the best experience according to what they will spend.

Also, another of the experiences discussed in the WTO is that tourists now with this recession are not traveling long distances, are traveling short distances, then why Fenitur this time we focus on the Americas and the Caribbean. We focus on Canada, United States, Central America, South America and the Dominican Republic.

Nicaragua has the resources to attract tourists, but sometimes the tourist arrives at a beach, for example, and not much to do …

That’s what we’re working closely with international agencies, to make conscience and the Intur and central government, that has definitely do need laws to attract more investors, which are to be ordered to improve infrastructure and new infrastructure do we need in the interior.

What prevents Nicaragua becomes an international destination?/
Yes, we are an international destination. An international destination defined by the conditions of a country, there is included the country’s security and includes quality hotels that have and do have quality hotels, we do have how to transport, package tour operators do have recognized, yes I have, maybe would ask what do we do for Nicaragua to become the preferred destination for tourists? This is what we are doing. We are very happy because the Intur presented the National Tourism Development Plan, which will be for 10 years, that’s going to serve as a guide for the steps that we must continue and to turn Nicaragua into a favorite destination of tourists but definitely not a thing overnight, we have to do thousands of things so simple a thing is garbage, do not throw trash, garbage, municipalities have clean, have the city clean, it is important because everything comes through the eyes … and then let’s the biggest thing is the infrastructure, more hotels, more services we can provide more diversification of the craftsmen who have to comply with the quality of craftsmanship. That makes a country more activities.

How do we compete against Central, what are the barriers that we have to eliminate to begin to excel in the region?
One of our main markets are Central Americans come to visit us. 63 percent of tourists who come are American. That is precisely what we do right now, how to encourage development of tourism within the region. Definitely something we do not have a budget is higher in the Intur. For example, right now we have only three million dollars we have for international and national promotion. And we’re talking about that in Costa Rica there are 25 million dollars in a Panama above 32 million, that’s what makes it a little impossible to compete at those levels, because they have all the money in the world to promote, however, with how little account the Intur, and what private enterprise can help right now, we are definitely on the map, because with a budget that has the Intur, using it properly, because there has been in recent months 100 publications in magazines, in newspapers, but in prestigious journals, and we are going into programs that we are doing. Here, for example, is filming the fishing program that airs in the U.S. channel NBC, Rio San Juan …

But the advertising budget has grown …
There is definitely a growth … and yes we are seeing that we are on the right track, because we are getting publications in prestigious journals, we are taking as the hot destination to come to visit, is “in”, are in fashion, we take advantage of circumstances to come all investors, tourists come all and come out ahead with tourism.

In the first quarter was strong growth of 12 percent in tourist arrivals, is able to maintain this trend?

Although we know that we will reach 7-8 percent, we have the illusion that it might get to 10 and 10 percent overcome, but these are projections, we hope that we can meet. Tourism is a work of each one of us … must be between all we have to push this wagon.

How envisions tourism in five years, how can we be?
In five years I predict that we can definitely be at least equal or exceed our nearest competition in the country with the projects we have, we have for example a project Canatur medical tourism, we want to come people that want to get plastic surgery or fix their teeth, which come to Nicaragua, that in five years may leave five million dollars, which is a good income from that sector alone. So, through these projects we are promoting we are confident that in five years we will be fully recognized with tourism that we will be surprised.

Link to Original Article:

From Prensa Nicaragua

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