Airbnb sees opportunity to promote another type of tourism in Nicaragua • El Nuevo Diario

Approximately 50% of tourists coming to Nicaragua through the Airbnb application are looking to stay in shared spaces, said Carlos Muñoz, Public Policy and Government Relations Manager for Airbnb for Central America and the Caribbean.

That means, according to Muñoz, that this type of tourist shares the lodging with another person who lives in the house, which in his opinion “creates an immense possibility of a very strong and rich cultural exchange, which promotes the possibility of that person wanting to return to Nicaragua.”

According to the official of Airbnb, the tourist agencies could take advantage of that characteristic to attract more tourists to the country.

“Normally in the region where I work, the Caribbean and Central America, 70% of tourists rent a whole house, that is, do not cohabit with a family or another person. They rent the whole house to go and spend with the family, “he said.

“In Nicaragua I see it as a great opportunity to develop this type of tourism that I mentioned, which is a tourism with a very cultural experience, well personalized, that differentiates this country from others in the region. And it should be noted that many of the tourists who come to Nicaragua are looking for this type of experience and it is an experience that is not achieved in the traditional tourism market,” he said.

“Collaborative Economy”

Airbnb, the world’s premier hosting business that has no place physically speaking, emerged in 2008 in San Francisco, United States, as an idea of ​​two young college students.

According to Carlos Muñoz, the application has more than two million properties registered, in more than 34,000 cities in 191 countries. It is a company valued at US $ 30 billion.

In Nicaragua there are over 1,000 properties active on Airbnb.

Currently Nicaraguan lodgings registered in Airbnb are concentrated in the Pacific of the country. “There are a lot of holiday homes, beach houses, but at the same time there are houses in Managua, in the mountains and some other offer on the Caribbean coast,” said Carlos Muñoz.

For Muñoz, it is difficult to predict the growth that the use of the Airbnb system of business in Nicaragua could have during the next years.

“Airbnb is an open platform. It is not that we buy hotels or buy properties and that way we can predict what supply we can have in the country. It is an open platform and everything depends on the free market, and how many people want to enter,” said Muñoz.

Airbnb’s Public Policy and Government Relations Manager for Central America and the Caribbean participated in the Nica Tech Summit 2017, held last Saturday in Managua, and said that they are starting to socialize a little about what is the “Collaborative economy” and publicize the Airbnb platform, so that more people can participate and enjoy the benefits of the tourism sector.

Democratize tourism

“We see this platform as a way to democratize what tourism is, because it allows people who have traditionally not been able to participate to participate and receive benefits from that sector,” said the manager of Public Policy and Government Relations of Airbnb for Central America and Caribbean.

Muñoz pointed out that one of the characteristics of the “collaborative economy” is that it does not require a big investment.

In the case of Airbnb the idea is that a person who has a property, whether a whole house or a single vacated room, can enable and offer it through that application to more than 100 million users worldwide, and so generate income for the family.

Source: Airbnb ve oportunidad para promover otro tipo de turismo en Nicaragua • El Nuevo Diario

As part of the recently held Nica Tech Summit 2017 (21 January in Managua), the person who heads up Airbnb’s efforts in Central America spoke and had some interesting things to say, namely that more people using Airbnb to book their lodging in Nicaragua look for shared spaces, i.e. not a whole house but a room or two in a house with other occupants, be they Nicaraguan or foreigners.

The point Mr. Muñoz is making is that this is a higher percentage than other countries in the region and that it is a good thing because this means that, especially for first-time visitors to Nicaragua, they can get a more locals perspective and experience than they would if they didn’t interact with actual Nicaraguans or expats at their rental properties.

Here at El Porton Verde, we certainly believe that, especially for your first and/or last night in Nicaragua, it’s good to get a very comfortable experience and one that is much more personalized than one that you might get just staying at a regular hotel or hostel.

When you are living with a family you get to eat the food they eat, listen and learn about what their lives are all about, and have a chance to ask questions as a visitor that just doesn’t happen in a more corporate or chain hotel type of situation.

As I’ve posted before, I think it’s completely legit to ask the first-time visitor, “why stay at a chain hotel when you can stay with us?” Not only does the visitor get more value for their dollar, yen, euro, pound, etc. you get the experience that totally supersedes having a room at a chain hotel that is pretty much like any other hotel room in that chain. I mean, a Holiday Inn is a Holiday Inn, amiright? 🙂

Another benefit of staying with a place like El Portón Verde is that you get to ask about things like relocation, medical tourism, local tours, beach house rentals, rental car tips, driving tips, and a bunch of other topics that you won’t get any exposure to in a more traditional lodging option like a big hotel chain.

If this doesn’t convince you, I don’t know what will? If you have a question about the value proposition that places like El Portón Verde offers, please comment below!

El Rosario, the highest waterfall in Nicaragua | el19digital.com

El Rosario, the highest waterfall in Nicaragua

Sunday 29 May 2016 | Carlos Espinoza Flores
One kilometer before reaching the town of El Rosario, the municipality of Murra, one deviates to the left and begins to skirt the mountain through a road where a vehicle can barely reach. After a little less than 1 kilometer there is a small house and a corral. One must continue 2 kilometers more. Upon completion, the road widens, the mountain stands tall as a skyscraper and through its walls a huge waterfall rushes majestic. It is the El Rosario waterfall, the highest in Nicaragua.The waterfall is staggered, but in winter is so strong that it literally has been eating the mountain, removing huge rocks that form small pools feet. Needless to say, the clearness of the current, the exuberance of the trees, the cheerful birdsong is amazing. If you didn’t know it was real, you’d think it is a canvas of Eden.

An elderly gentleman, white-skinned with a thick and quixotic mustache, looks up and fixes his eyes to where you can see as the summit from where the waterfall starts to rush. He is a simple man, like every farmer in northern Nicaragua, however, he has that look of pride. Why? Because the waterfall is entirely within his property.

Cascada El Rosario, in Murra, Nicaragua

His name is Juan Antonio Moreno. He is 63 years old, of which 40 he has lived among these mountains. The property is called Selva Morena, and if you take a good look around, you’ll see there is no more appropriate name, since contrary to the pine forests that characterize Las Segovias, in El Rosario vegetation is dense and varied.

Don Juan hosted a group of climbers that reached the waterfall and measured it. The end result was 120 meters high. To put it in perspective, the Estanzuela waterfall in Esteli, is 35 meters, so it is three three times higher.

Tucked between the mountains this man is no stranger to climate changes experienced by the world and the impact it is having on nature. He states that to prevent the waterfall from drying out, he has not ceased to reforest the area.

Cascada El Rosario, in Murra, Nicaragua

“It is worth taking care of the forest. I was born with that gift of caring for the forest , “he says.

“That’s why it has remained (the cascade)”, he stresses.

The property is more than 100 blocks of virgin forest that also serve as a refuge for hundreds of wild animals.

Cascada El Rosario, in Murra, Nicaragua

virgin Tourism

Contrary to other places in Nicaragua, where tourism development is booming, in this hidden paradise itself there is absolutely nothing. There are no benches, no farms, no restaurant, only friendly welcome Don Juan, who opened a small path to climb up the waterfall and stole a forest space so that visitors could park their vehicles.

Don Juan does not even have an access fee. “He who brings how to reward the leaves and not always comes , he says.

However, he says that soon and start charging.

Even though lacks any tourist infrastructure, visitors have been amazed not only by the impressive waterfall but by the love with which Don Juan protects nature.

“I have been congratulated for the care of the forest because if there is no forest there is no water , he says.

Cascada El Rosario, in Murra, Nicaragua

An adventure trip

Getting to the waterfall is not easy. To give an idea of how far it is, just say it takes 2 hours travel by car from Ocotal, Nueva Segovia, to the valley where the small town of El Rosario rises. From Managua it is 332 kilometers, 52 of which are dirt roads.

These 52 kilometers are an adventure themselves. They run between the crests of the mountains, with deep pits to either side or long descending slopes whose lower part are cut by streams, to once again be crossed when you have to climb the steep peaks.

Cascada El Rosario, in Murra, Nicaragua

It is a postcard-perfect Nicaragua: adobe huts, the farmers mule, ox carts, jungle covered mountains, pine forests, coffee plantations, cattle grazing.

On the way it is not common to find vehicles and public transport with the municipality lending trucks with big tires and strong high bodies.

It is a Nicaragua that is slowly disappearing. Simple, beautiful, clean air and working people. If this place is not paradise, it lacks little to be.

Source: El Rosario, la cascada más alta de Nicaragua

Tourism in Nicaragua received 18.7% more foreign exchange – La Prensa

Tourism in Nicaragua received 18.7% more foreign exchange

Yohany Lopez 03/22/2016
Tourism in Nicaragua received 18.7% more foreign exchange

The Central Bank of Nicaragua, through its official Twitter account, confirmed that the tourism sector in Nicaragua received $528.6 million dollars during 2015, According to the organization, growth was 18.7 percent as compared with $445.4 million dollars the country received during 2014. Indeed, Tourism in Nicaragua is growing quite a bit!

See:For Lucy Valenti, president of the National Chamber of Tourism (Canatur), this data reflects the efforts of both the private and public sector, who have sought to stabilize and raise quality levels.

“That figure lets us know that tourism generated more revenue Nicaragua that the main export products in 2015,” said Valenti, who acknowledges that with a strategy better focused to attract tourists to spend more, the country will exceed $1 billion dollars in a short term.
“With just the average daily tourist spending increasing by $ 30, we can see how the sector will continue to contribute to economic development and job creation,” said the president of Canatur.

According to data from BCN last year the average tourist spending in Nicaragua was $ 41.5, down a bit from 41.8 dollars in 2014.While the average stay increased from 7.7 days to 8.7 days.Read: Tourists spent less in 2015 in Nicaragua

La Prensa / FILE

So far the data that the BCN has pending is the number of tourists who entered the country. However, the co-director of the Nicaraguan Institute of Tourism (Intur), Anasha Campbell, said that during 2015, 1.45 million visitors entered the country, of which 1.38 million were tourists, 23.473 cruise passengers and  46.235 tour participants.

According to Campbell, housing increased in 2015 compared to 2014 by 654 rooms, when Intur statistics reflected 13,242. You can also read: holiday accommodation in Nicaragua must grow

related notes

Source: Turismo en Nicaragua percibió 18.7% más en divisas – La Prensa

Hey hey! More good data points coming out of the tourism sector of the economy. It is interesting to read that tourism now accounts for more spending than the income from the country’s largest exports. While the article doesn’t say what those exports are, presumably they are cigars, cattle, and other agricultural products.

One other small note, the president of CANTUR, Ms. Valenti says that if the daily spend increases by $30 we can see the sector continuing to support economic development and generation of jobs. Well, I’d like to see the plan on how that is happening, because the daily spend by tourists is currently a little over $40, so how are you about to increase that by 75% with another $30?

There needs to be a study of perceived value for lodging, tours, and other services rendered to visitors, a comparison of prices for said items in Nicaragua, and how much the same types of services and products cost in neighboring countries.

Then, let’s see what the quality is compared to these other places and see if Nicaragua needs to increase the quality of the offerings, and in what respect? Better quality beds? Better trained tour guides? Transportation? Infrastructure? Exactly what needs to change to get that average spend up? I for one would be interested in participating in any studies done!

The obvious “wins” to increase the spending would be from an increase in:

  • cruise passengers
  • luxury spas and other five-star resorts
  • luxury tours

Noticias de Prensa Latina – Tourism Grows 8.5 Percent in Nicaragua

Tourism Grows 8.5 Percent in Nicaragua

Managua, Oct 19 (Prensa Latina) The entry of foreign tourists to Nicaragua, grew 8.7 percent in the seven first months of 2015, compared to the same period of 2014, said the Nicaraguan Tourism Institute (INTUR) Monday. Janice Ruiz, co-director of INTUR, said that the total number of arrivals of foreign tourists was of almost 810,000, said Nicaraguan website El Digital Monday.

From January to September more than 1 million 867 people visited the Nicaraguan tourist centers that are being managed by INTUR. This number is superior to the previous year, in more than 500,000 people.

Source: Noticias de Prensa Latina – Tourism Grows 8.5 Percent in Nicaragua

Barcelo Monetilimar Resort--not five star!

Barcelo Monetilimar Resort–not five star!

Another data point for those following Nicaragua and specifically tourism in Nicaragua. In past years IIRC it’s been going up, but only by maybe 4 or 5% a year. This is a big jump at 8.7% with more than a half a million visitors.

Of note though is that a majority of foreign tourists are actually from other Central American countries like Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, Costa Rica, etc. The other important data not discussed in this little blurb is the average daily spend of the tourists. You want that number to go up as the mix of visitors begins to include more folks looking for a more upscale, luxury experience.

There’s now at least four or possibly more really nice 4- and 5-star resort properties in Nicaragua now, so let’s hope we can find numbers for those visitors, how many are coming and what their average daily spend might be!