One of the primary reasons that we feel Nicaragua is a good place to invest in tourism is the continuing growth of the economy and tourism. (I have picked what I feel are the best recent sources of data to support my argument though a quick search will reveal many others and some are listed at the bottom of this post.)
There are three true things about the Nicaraguan economy:
- The Nicaraguan economy is growing and diversifying.
Not only is Nicaragua’s economy growing faster than the rest of Central America (Nicaragua last year grew 4.7%, well above the Central American average of 3.4%), it’s also spreading in multiple directions as the nascent economy diversifies and matures.
The diversity can be seen in Nicaragua’s growing number of trade partners, and also in the growing number of foreign countries investing there.
(Source The Nicaragua Dispatch, April 9, 2012: http://www.nicaraguadispatch.com/news/2012/04/nicaragua%E2%80%99s-economy-set-pace-in-2011/3254)
- The tourism sector is growing at a faster rate than the overall economy.
For over a decade, tourism has been one of the most vibrant sectors of the Nicaraguan economy, experiencing consistent and sustained growth. Between 2007 and 2011, tourism arrivals grew at an average rate of 7 percent per year and tourism receipts also experienced an 11 percent annual growth rate during that period.
(Source ProNicaragua: http://www.pronicaragua.org/index.php?Itemid=23&id=34&lang=en&option=com_content&view=article) Check out the full article for great data and in-depth analysis of the topic.
- Most tourists that visit Nicaragua engage in at least one activity which connects with with nature (i.e.Eco-tourism activity) such as hiking, kayaking, surfing, swimming, fishing, or visiting volcanoes.
(Source INSTITUTO NICARAGÜENSE DE TURISMO, Boletín de Estadísticas de Turismo de Nicaragua No. 22, Año 2011: http://www.intur.gob.ni/DOCS/ESTADISTICAS/Boletin_Estadisticas_2011.pdf)
These three facts have been true for several years even during the worst years of the worldwide economic downturn and there is more room for growth for the foreseeable future. This robust growth, despite or perhaps because of the downturn, can in part be attributed to the affordability of Nicaragua compared to other destinations in Latin America. Other reasons include favorable and increasing press coverage as a destination, good word-of-mouth, its “undiscovered” mystique, and the ease that one can travel to and within the country.
Of course, before investing in a significant project in Nicaragua, there are many other factors to consider such as (click links for related articles) labor, business climate and regulation, political stability, and cultural considerations. We’ll address these topics in other articles.
Here are a few other sources of info on the Nicaraguan economy: