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Tourism in Nicaragua / Nicaragua tourist attractions, Tourism in San Juan del Sur

Nicaragua’s tourism industry has experienced significant growth in recent years, and it is now the country’s second-largest industry. As a result of the massive increase in tourism in Nicaragua, the agricultural, commercial, and financial sectors and the construction industry have increased revenue. Nicaragua is mainly known for its scenery, flora and fauna, beaches, lakes, wildlife, culture, and volcanoes. Tourism in Nicaragua primarily focuses on the coastlines and scenic routes, and the architecture of cities like León and Granada. Recently, eco-tourism and agritourism have also become popular in Northern Nicaragua.

Nicaragua’s tourism suffered during the 1980s revolution when it wasn’t considered a safe destination, causing the country’s economy to suffer a significant drop. However, due to the tremendous growth of the tourism industry over the previous decade, it has grown into the second most important industry in the country. Over the last seven years, tourism has expanded at a rate of 70% across the country.

In 2018, 1.8 million foreign tourists visited Nicaragua. This resulted in a total revenue of $550 million from tourism. Tourism in Nicaragua has been gradually expanding over the past two decades. In 1995, a total of 281,000 foreign tourists visited Nicaragua. In 2000, there were 486,000 international tourists, and by 2005, the number had increased to 712,000 visitors. In 2010, Nicaragua welcomed 1,011,000 international tourists, and in 2018, the country attracted 1,700,000. Nicaragua’s tourism industry is obviously thriving.

Tourism and its Economic and Environmental Impacts

As mentioned earlier, tourism in Nicaragua has become the primary source of income. Tourism can significantly change the economy, as well as the environment, for the better or worse.

Economic Impacts

Tourism in Nicaragua has gradually grown over the past two decades, greatly benefiting the country’s economy. Tourism has influenced Nicaragua’s GDP, jobs, and investment. In 2013, tourism contributed 9.1% to Nicaragua’s GDP. As a result, it contributes to the GDP in three unique ways: directly (via accommodation and transportation), indirectly (through government spending), and inducibly (through tourism). Moreover, economic forecasts predict that tourism’s contribution to GDP will increase over the next decade, putting it in the top 30 globally.

Tourism employed 7.9% of Nicaraguans in 2013 and is anticipated to rise to 8.8% by 2024. Tourism employment is generally seasonal, resulting in many part-time jobs and few full-time jobs. While tourism has benefited the entire country in terms of income, jobs, and investment, it has primarily benefited the Pacific coast, notably Grenada. 75% of Nicaragua’s hotels are in the Pacific. While the country has many tourist attractions, the isolated districts on the Atlantic Coast frequently have less profitable tourism.

Environmental Impacts

Nicaragua’s environment has suffered substantial damage as a result of tourism, despite its many economic benefits. Increasing numbers of tourists are visiting Nicaragua, prompting the government and private firms to invest in more amenities and promote tourism. Because of this, many environmental challenges have grown to prominence. Because of the new buildings and tourists’ desire to collect fossils, tourism in Nicaragua has resulted in environmental damage such as landscape degradation. As a result of transportation, noise and air pollution have increased, while water contamination has increased due to waste from hotels and boats. Additionally, deforestation has increased as a result of the increased demand for supplies.

Even though tourism has had harmful effects on the environment, it has had positive effects too. As more tourists begin to visit Nicaragua, the government and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) devote increasing attention to preserving the country’s natural beauty. Tourists are attracted to sustainable tourism because it promotes positive consequences for the natural ecosystem, economy, and inhabitants. Sustainable tourism is considered a popular approach to keeping tourists coming while also protecting the environment. Furthermore, eco-tourism is becoming increasingly important to preserve the ecosystem while simultaneously attracting tourists to the country.

Eco-Tourism in Nicaragua

Nicaragua’s eco-tourism industry continues to flourish year after year, thanks to the country’s abundance of eco-tourism activities and ideal locations for adventurers. Tourists can find tropical rainforest, volcanoes, and farming lands in Nicaragua’s three ecoregions, located on the Pacific, Central, and Atlantic coasts. Over 20 per cent of Nicaragua’s surface is covered by 78 protected areas, which together account for 7 per cent of the world’s biodiversity. Nicaragua has more natural areas than Costa Rica, which is said to have more natural regions than Nicaragua.
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Nicaragua Tourist Attractions

There are many possibilities for getting wet when you’ve got beaches on both the Caribbean and Pacific Ocean coasts. With its colonial architecture and laid-back surf scene, Costa Rica’s Pacific Ocean Emerald Coast city of San Juan del Sur is a beautiful spot to visit. The town itself is vibrantly coloured, with paintings and beautiful structures. A big Christ of Mercy monument placed on a hill overlooking the city is also worth climbing up for sunset, especially to take in the sights. Tourism in San Juan del Sur contributes significantly to the Nicaraguan economy. The Corn Islands are famous for their laid-back beach atmosphere and friendly people. There are a few places to stay and eat on the tiny island, but there are no banks or vehicles on the island. You can walk around Little Corn and see everything in less than an hour.

Nicaragua’s capital city, Managua, is a bustling metropolis, but most visitors are here for work rather than pleasure. Many of Nicaragua’s most exciting attractions are found in the country’s smaller cities, such as Leon and Granada, which are famed for their colourful architecture and churches. Natural wonders such as Lake Nicaragua are home to hundreds of islands and magnificent ecolodges, and it is the biggest freshwater lake in Central America. Interestingly, Lake Nicaragua is the only freshwater lake that contains ocean species, including sharks. And then there are the volcanoes. Some of them are dormant, but others, such as the Masaya Volcano, are still very active. Be sure to go after dark so you can see the flickering flames created by the bubbling lava in the pit.