The Planned Nicaragua Canal – An Effective Marketing Tool for Tourism

What are the main reasons behind Nicaragua’s Tourism Boom this year?

Nicaragua is having a record year in terms of tourism.  Arrivals to the International Airport in Managua are up over 12% for the first half of the year.  Hotels in Managua, Granada and the Beach areas are reporting strong demand and high hotel occupancy.  At Jicaro Island Ecolodge we are having our best year ever.  We have identified the following reasons for this positive development.

The Publicity that was generated through the Announcement of the Nicaragua Canal

When Nicaragua made the headlines of all mayor newspapers, magazines and TV news in late 2014 and throughout 2015, the country became associated with something different from the civil war of the 1980s and the Iran-Contra Scandals during the Reagan administration.  As marketers agree:  Any publicity is good publicity.  Web searches and traffic for Nicaragua and the Canal peaked and while reading about the planned canal, many people realized that Nicaragua had become a very attractive tourism destination.  The future of the canal is not clear today, but in terms of positioning of the country, it worked very well.

cnn article on canal in nicaragua
CNN wrote an article in March 2015 about the possible impacts of the building of the Nicaragua Canal.  It received a lot of visibility. Jicaro Island Ecolodge was featured in the article (see picture).

The Mukul Resort & Murphy O’Brian Public Relations Investment

A few years back, the Nicaraguan government hired a very competent Public Relations Company out of Los Angeles called Murphy O’Brian.  The account manager Sharon Boorstin became very passionate about the project and Nicaragua became very well positioned in the North American market as an exotic but safe tourism destination.  The opening of the luxurious Mukul Resort on the Pacific Coast gave another Public Relations boost to the country as the management of the resort spent a significant amount of marketing dollars in bringing press and travel agency “Fam trips” to Nicaragua as well as visiting international trade shows and advertising in international media.  Mukul consolidated the positioning of Nicaragua as an upscale travel destination that was started by Cayuga Sustainable Hospitality over ten years ago with the opening of Morgan’s Rock Ecolodge near San Juan del Sur and then the opening of Jicaro Island Ecolodge six years ago.

pool in lake nicaragua
The Pool at Jicaro Island Ecolodge. The small private island retreat is the ideal destination to relax and get away from it all or to take day trips to explore the attractions that Nicaragua has to offer.

Tourist’s Search for the authentic and Undiscovered Destination

International travelers are seeking new destinations.  Lots of people want to gain bragging rights of having been the first one in a circle of friends to have discovered a new destination.  What Vietnam and Costa Rica were 25 years ago, Croatia and Morocco ten years ago is now, among others, Nicaragua.  Nicaragua has a decent tourism infrastructure, but it is still rough around the edges.  It feels genuine authentic and real.  And being on the early stage in its tourism life cycle, Nicaragua is a great value where the tourism dollar still goes very far…  And finally word has gotten out that Nicaragua is a safe place to visit and that Nicaraguan’s welcome tourists from around the world with open arms.

Street scene in Granada
The Colonial Town of Granada is one of Nicaragua’s most visited tourism destinations. Nevertheless, it has maintained much of its original charm. Jicaro Island Ecolodge is located just a short boat ride from Granada.

So we were not that off when in September 2014 we published this blog about the Top Five Reasons to Visit Nicaragua in 2015.  Many listed and really enjoyed their experience.  Some testimonials here.  Have you been to Nicaragua?  What was your experience like?  We would love to hear from you at [email protected]

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