As Canadians begin considering their options for sun destinations this winter, the Central American nation of Nicaragua wants to throw its name into the hat.
Sharing its appeal with existing and prospective travel trade partners in Toronto last week, representatives showcased a nation with diverse appeal, from sun, sand and sea to ecotourism and adventure.
“Nicaragua is a perfect fit for Canadians,” said Francisco Campbell, ambassador of Nicaragua. “When you think Nicaragua, you think accessible, affordable and very safe. Those are things that Canadians like.”
Summarizing the country’s selling points, tourism representatives highlighted the following:
- Spanish colonial cities such as Granada which showcase original architecture that has been actively preserved
- Nicaragua is one of the best countries in the world for surfing, particularly on the Pacific coast
- Twenty-five volcanoes across the country are there to be explored, with the option to climb up and go sand boarding down many
- The Caribbean coast features pristine white sand beaches
Campbell noted that because of the range of accommodation options throughout Nicaragua plus the affordable prices, it appeals to various clientele, from snowbirds to students, surfers and those simply looking to relax.
“People like it because it is less expensive than Mexico or Costa Rica,” he said. “And, it’s not hard to get to; you can fly in five hours from Toronto to El Salvador, and it’s only 45 minutes from there.”
Avianca offers a daily service from YYZ, while Air Transat offers seasonal service as well.
Already in 2014, 28,000 Canadians have visited the destination, up 3,000 year-over-year. Campbell said that as more people discover the vast appeal of Nicaragua paired with the adventurous nature of Canadian travellers, they expect those numbers to continue to grow.
PHOTO: Dina Joseph Hodgson, commercial relations for North America, Nicaraguan Tourist Board; Francisco Campbell, ambassador of Nicaragua; Ana Carolina Garcia, director, marketing and promotion, Nicaraguan Tourist Board; Bill Maloney, senior consultant, travel industry relations, Partner Concepts; Maritza Rivera, senior account executive, Partner Concepts; Roberto Yanquil, regional sales manager Canada, Avianca.