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Is Nicaragua Finally Tapping into Its Tourism Potential?

LADB Article ID: 79956
Category/Department: Nicaragua
Date: 2016-04-21
By: Benjamin Witte-Lebhar

This year’s Holy Week proved to be a bountiful week for the Nicaraguan tourism industry, which has grown at a steady clip in recent years and now brings in more revenue than any of the nation’s top export products. But while many see the numbers as clear cause for celebration, others are taking a glass-half-empty view of the situation and suggest that with better planning and marketing, Nicaragua could draw far more—and perhaps better-paying—visitors.In the days leading up to and including Easter weekend (March 20-28), tourism operators raked in some US$67 million, 10% more than expected, according to the Cámara Nicaragüense de la Micro, Pequeña y Mediana Empresa Turística (CANTUR), one of several small- and medium-size-business groups active in Nicaragua. More than a few observers, nevertheless, say that with regards to tourism, Nicaragua—and the government in particular—could do much more. In a recent interview with El Nuevo Diario, Carolin Lusby, tourism expert and education professor at Florida International University in Miami, said the country needs to do a better job promoting itself. It also needs to come up with a clearer idea, she said, of what kinds of tourism it wants to develop and market.

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