How to promote investment in tourism

We have had an assortment of fist fights here about whether tourism is good or bad. On the government side, INTUR has tried to promote tourism and other Nicaraguan entities have tried to promote Nicaragua in the international markets. Unfortunately, there never seems to be a united message.

Ecuador just published a guide to encourage tourism investment. It's a fancy and extensive document (62 pages) that tells you about Ecuador rather than counting hotel rooms and such. If seems like the kind of document that Nicaragua needs. You can, for example, see all the financial incentives in one place on page 31.

I have uploaded a copy to if you are interested in taking a look at it. And, yes, it is in English.

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I think we're conflating three things

One is promoting tourism for people to come to Nicaragua and spend money; second is promoting tourism as a thing Nicaraguans can do as a business. Third is getting foreign money to invest in a country by building tourist facilities.

C. is necessary for very large scale developments (generally coastal here) where local capital isn't sufficient.

All arguments about whether tourism actually changes and transforms local economies for the better aside, INTUR appears to be trying to do A and B, including teaching country people how to set up very tiny bed and board places so they will have some incentives to stay on the land and not move to urban areas where services are strained because of so many people who have already left the country for the cities. C is what all the people who come in from the outside want to do.

Intur is putting money into videos of its own Nicaraguan-owned small hotels and the gringos who love them (I've been in the shooting of one such video at the Sollentuna Hem). Are foreign investments in tourism particularly necessary in a country this size with relatively limited tourist destinations?

I suggest that anyone wanting to know the answer to that question talk to Intur. If Intur's primary focus is getting business for Nicaraguan-owned hotels, then make a case to them about why they should change their strategy. At this point, their strategy seems to be working -- Morillo is investing in tourism; the Pellas family is building a huge hotel. NGOs are working with small farmers who own land in Miraflor to develop small scale tourism. Tourism is up.

Rebecca Brown