San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Nicaragua exceeds 1 million foreign tourists for first time

MANAGUA – More than 1 million foreign tourists visited Nicaragua this year, the first time that the country has exceeded that figure and an 8 percent increase with respect to 2009, the Nicaraguan Tourism Institute, or Intur, reported Wednesday.
Intur president Mario Salinas told reporters that authorities estimate 1.01 million foreign visitors will have visited Nicaragua by the end of this year, an 8.4 percent increase compared to last year.
According to official figures, in 2009, 931,904 foreign tourists visited Nicaragua, 8.6 percent more than the number who came to the country in 2008.
The increase in foreign tourists is due to the fact that Nicaragua “is perceived as an interesting destination on the international level,” Salinas said.
“All that means a great message that Nicaragua has launched to the world: of opening, security, confidence and it is being received more and more” by potential tourists abroad, he added.
He said that 60 percent of the tourists who visit Nicaragua come from the rest of Central America, mainly from Honduras, followed by the United States, Canada and the European Union.
Salinas emphasized that this year the average stay in the country for tourists was 7.3 days and they each spent an average of $50 per day.
He calculated that the income generated by foreign tourism in Nicaragua, the second-poorest country in the hemisphere, will reach by the end of the year 4.7 percent more than was taken in during 2009.
This year, authorities expect to register gross income of $360 million from foreign tourism, compared with $345.9 million garnered in 2009, Salinas said.

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