The health tourism segment, still in its infancy in the country, could achieve a higher degree of development if a strategy is implemented jointly by tourism companies and medical centers.
Low prices of treatments and medical infrastructure are the main factors which favor growth of the medical tourism segment in Costa Rica, which could also be applied in Nicaragua, once a work plan starts to be implemented which involves coordination between hospitals, government and companies in the tourism sector.
Tourism entrepreneurs have suggested setting up a border post in El Naranjo in order to encourage the arrival of international tourists coming from Guanacaste, Costa Rica.
The announcement of the possible construction of a coastal highway in the Pacific, represents an opportunity for entrepreneurs in the tourism sectorto further enhance the development of tourism in the area and also provide a route for foreign tourists arriving at the Liberia airport in Guanacaste, Costa Rica.
Three bills are being prepared to encourage construction of marinas and condominiums for tourism, and the promotion of sport fishing.
The initiative to reform the Law on Investments in Condominiums is being prepared by the union of construction, tourism and urbanization, and aims to "open the regime of condominiums up to tourism investment"in order to continue forming the basis of infrastructure necessary for the region to consolidate itself as tourism destination.
Lack of control of unofficial businesses that are setting up on the coasts is preventing further development in areas with high tourism potential such as San Juan del Sur.
The business community argues that the Law for the Development of Coastal and Environmental Conservation is not being complied with, as unofficial businesses such as restaurants and hotels are being allowed to set upon the coasts.
The rate of annual growth of the sector has been estimated at 3%, and to date there are a total of more than one thousand hotels with 14 thousand rooms.
Most hoteliers in Nicaragua agree that growth has been very positive, but they are aware of the need to accelerate the speed with which the sector is developing in order to compete with other destinations with a higher level of sophistication and development in this service.
The tourist sector is proposing to develop a long-term strategy be create a market segment aimed at bird watching tourism in the country.
Authorities from the Nicaraguan Institute of Tourism and entrepreneurs say the birding business generates significant revenue in markets such as Peru, where it "... currently generates $50 million a year." Although there is still no official program or strategy focused on attracting this type of tourism, tourism operators say that some companies have started to specialize in the subject.
The tourism industry supports the reform of the bill on coasts proposed by the government, which grants municipalities with the responsibility to coordinate real estate development in coastal areas of the country.
"Using a public-private partnership we can accomplish the great work of definitively reorganizing the coast and also provide training for mayoral offices so that they understand Law 690 works.'"
From May 31st to June 7th, 2015 Sardina beach, on the Pacific coast, will host the World Surfing Championship.
For the third time the beaches in the municipality of Tola will be hosting the World Surfing Championships, an important income generator because athletes have a level of daily expenses "... of about $100, which is twice the average spent by tourists who come to do other things. " It also improves the positioning of the country as a tourist destination.
Between January and September, 965,369 tourists arrived in the country, 7.1% more than in the same period in 2013.
From a statement issued by the investment promotion agency of Nicaragua:
Nicaragua, with a steadily growing tourism industry, received 965,369 visitors up to September this year, which is giving rise to new hotel investments, said the executive president of the Nicaraguan Tourism Institute, Intur, Mayra Salinas, yesterday after stating that "on October 21 we will probably pass the one million tourists figure. "
Up until May incentives have been authorized for 22 tourism investment projects, including the construction of the airport in Costa Esmeralda, for $12 million.
Tourism growth and incentives granted to investment projects in the tourism sector are boosting investment in the country, which, according to estimates by the Nicaraguan Institute of Tourism, will amount to $400 million in the year.
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