TODAY NICARAGUA – Tourism entrepreneurs in Nicaragua believe that the construction of the Costanera (coastal highway) in Nicaragua’s Pacific will allow European and North American tourists arriving at Costa Rica’s Liberia, Guanacaste airport (LIR) to head north.
For this, the Cámara Nacional de Turismo de Nicaragua (Canatur) – National Chamber of Tourism of Nicaragua – says a tourist border post in the El Naranjo, south of Rivas, is needed, which would increase the flow of vacationers from Costa Rica to Nicaragua.
“We have proposed setting up a border (El Naranjo) post for all the problems in Peñas Blancas,” said Canatur President Lucy Valenti. “Very close to El Naranjo is the Liberia airport, which receives about one million tourists a year.”
The president of the Consejo Superior de la Empresa Privada (Cosep) – Superior Council of Private Enterprise – José Adán Aguerri, also reported that a proposal is being made to the Comisión Nacional de Turismo (National Tourism Commission) to develop the road project.
At the same time, Aguerri said that the Costanera is a project that will also boost the tourism sector in the region. Aguerri added that Costa Rica and Nicaragua officials will be meeting at which time the El Naranjo border post will be proposed.
“It is a project that will not only bring investments but will provide opportunities for coastal areas to develop and grow, because small businesses are going to be created that will provide services to other investments,” said Valenti.
Nicaraguan economists like Maria Arana sees the project a positive one, considering that tourism is one the most dynamic in the Nicaragua economy, “with productivity levels above other sectors.”
Raúl Calvet, general manager of Calvet y Asociados, a firm specializing in investment advice to the tourism industry said, “the implementation of this project will continue to consolidate efforts to strengthen the country as an important tourist destination.”
“There was a time when there was a lot of emigration, however, in recent years we have been able to confirm that there has been an improvement in the family structure in Tola (Rivas) and in San Juan del Sur, because many people have found work in construction and in new hotels,” said Calvet.
The Costanera is a catalyst for the tourism industry, says Leonardo Torres, president of the Cámara Nicaragüense de la Micro, Pequeña y Mediana Empresa Turística (Cantur) – Nicaraguan Chamber of Micro, Small and Medium-sized Tourism. According to Torres, the Costanera project will also mean improvements in the distribution of electricity, telephony services and boost private investment.