It’s Now, It’s Nicaragua!

Nicaragua may be considered a third world country but it certainly has First class charm.

At a time when the housing market is hurting in so many areas of the world, Nicaragua’s is seeing continual growth and prosperity. Tourists, potential expats and retirees will find that this tropical paradise is affordable and valuable at the same time. Unlike many other popular Latin American countries in the world, the real estate properties in Nicaragua have seen dramatic gains in value.

Over the last two decades Nicaragua has emerged from a country plagued with internal political strife and poverty to a democracy that has goals of prosperity and peace. Amazingly, Nicaragua has achieved many of its goals for prosperity, recording a 4.5% growth rate over the last few years. This is an impressive figure when one most larger nations have stalled at a growth rate of 2% or less.

Creating New Frontiers
Major Casino operators have been looking to expand into new markets and they have their eyes on Nicaragua.

Nicaragua is definitely not a country that comes to mind when one thinks of casino gambling, but the truth is that casino gambling in the country has been steadily growing since 1998.

All forms of gambling were illegal in Nicaragua until 1996 when the national lottery was instituted. The resulting popularity of the lottery helped position gambling and soon full service casinos opened to service nationals and tourists.The Casino industry is closely regulated by the government.

In The Spotlight
It seems the world is finally starting to take notice of this once civil war torn nation. If you are a fan of the TV show: Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations, usually seen on the Travel channel
you’ll remember a segment where he featured Nicaragua. Bourdain described Nicaragua as “a spectacularly beautiful country. The food is great. The rum even better. The people are proud, generous, funny and sophisticated at every level of society. I hope the show makes people want to visit this poor but beautiful nation with so much to offer–to see not only what Nicaragua is, but what it can be.”

Nicaragua is continuing to make its presence known in the U.S. pop culture by hosting reality TV programs like “survivor’filmed here last year. The national tourism board, INTUR is currently negotiating with MTV and several other U.S. cable channels to bring a variety of reality programming here, and the forth-coming feature film “Destination Wedding” is a comedy about a U.S. couple that decides to get married on a tropical beach in Nicaragua.

More discerning viewers, will see Nicaragua featured on National Geographic TV, which is currently filming a segment on Ometepe Island, according to Nicaragua Tourism Minister Mario Salinas. Salinas has also been very vocal about his displeasure with the fact that many are calling Nicaragua “The Next Costa Rica”.He says security issues in Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador are offering Nicaragua a chance to fill the need as a near-shore destination for U.S. tourists who want all the culture, weather, natural beauty, and adventure of Latin America, yet without all the violence. But most importantly, he believes Nicaragua needs to distinguish itself from the herd as a unique destination in the region.

But, if it does come true that Nicaragua eventually becomes the next hot tourist destination, you might just want to take a look now while it’s still considered “undiscovered”. So right now it looks like It’s Now! It’s Nicaragua!

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