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Nicaraguan Tourism is Ready for the Cuban Opening Opportunity

April 1st, 2016, Source: El Nuevo Diario

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“Nicaraguan adventure tourism can be a complement to the Caribbean island where beach tourism dominates.”

The recently improved relations between Cuba and the United States are helping the island nation to grow its tourism sector.

The Nicaraguan business sector does not fear this change, but sees it instead as an opportunity to do business.

Michael Cobb, CEO of Gran Pacifica Beach and Golf Resort, said, “Nicaragua is a unique destination with exciting and diverse tourist attractions, such as its folklore, cultural heritage and geography. Nicaragua is an adventure tourism destination. It is an ideal place to look for an experience out of the ordinary, while Cuba is an exciting new destination for US citizens. Major European and Canadian tourism already exists in Cuba, and will now grow to serve even more tourists, including people from the United States.”

As observed by Mr. Cobb, entrepreneur and tourism developer, "Cancun, Dominican Republic and other Caribbean islands focus on all-inclusive and mass-tourism markets, and they will be the most affected markets by this Cuban opening.”

Meanwhile, Antonio Armas, president of the Nicaraguan Association of Receptive Tourism (ANTUR), sees an opportunity to bring tourists to Nicaragua by the method of "shared destiny," managing tourist arrivals to Cuba, which incidentally also visit Nicaragua. Armas says, “This Cuban opening is very positive for Nicaraguan tourism. We do not see any difficulty, rather we see an opportunity."

Lucy Valenti, president of the National Chamber of Tourism of Nicaragua, said, "Cuba would become a strong competitor, however, I think Nicaragua has its own strengths in tourism.”

So far this year, Cuban tourism has grown by 14.6% compared to the same period last year.

The island has received more tourists from the United States since relations between the two countries improved in October of last year. Despite all the excitement, the United States still maintains an economic embargo on Cuba, part of which still forbids Americans to travel as tourists, although travel restrictions for US professionals to Cuba have been reduced.

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