The Tourists Are Coming & Tourism Highlights
The rainy season lasts from May to October, and the wettest months are September and October. Of course there has been a drought in Nicaragua for 5 years, so the “wet season”, as the locals call it, has not been very wet at all. This year though the rain has been better, with a torrential downpour occurring usually once each day. I can rain for a few minutes or over and hour, then stops. This is much needed to bring lake and river levels back up to their norm, and replenish the aquifer.
Next month, November, will see tourists trickling in, with the peak season crowds pretty much filling up hotels, hostels, guest houses and bed and breakfasts. With the incentives available to foreign investors in tourism, courtesy of the Nicaraguan government, anytime is a good time to invest in Nicaragua’s tourist infrastructure. However, now is the ideal time to purchase any tourism related property or business because business will literally be banging on your door from day one.
Law 360 is the law that envelopes the advantages and incentives available to foreigners making an investment in the tourism industry. View the English version of Law 360 here.
Nica Investments’ participation in the perks available to foreign investment in tourism thus far is restricted to an application for subsidy of the electricity costs of Hotel de Sonrisas. However, we will be applying for tax credits and a grant for upgrading plumbing. We wish to install more efficient toilets and showers to cut down on both the expense and to minimize water use. We are also connecting to the newly installed sewage system. Possession of the hotel property was July 1, 2016. Assembling the necessary permissions, certifications and licenses, revamping the property, converting an empty space to a restaurant and another to operate as a spa took until the end of September. Now that the hotel is open and fully operational there’s lots to do in the way of securing the perks the operation is entitled to.
Whether investment capabilities are large or small, the Nicaragua tourism industry offers something for everyone. Please note though, if your intention is to relocate to Nicaragua and become a resident, investor status residency requires a minimum investment of US$30,000.00 at this time.
Some of the properties and business opportunities available right now are…
An ideally located, 13 room hotel in Granada that can be purchased, renovated, refurbished and equipped for under US$200,000. This is a perfect operation for either an experienced hotelier or for novices wanting a mom and pop operation.
There are a number of hotels and hostels on Ometepe that are for sale. Some are businesses operating in leased properties, usually offered for sale turnkey. Others are land, chattels and business. Ometepe is a must see on most tourists’ Nicaragua itineraries. However, the number of accommodation operations is more than adequate to meet the demand. This means rates are low, so earning potential is limited. That said, if your goal is to enjoy a rent free existence with a little income to supplement a pension, there are a number of perfect opportunities on Ometepe.
San Juan del Sur is a hot market for tourism related business investments but the market demographics limit the return. San Juan del Sur is a beach community on the southern Pacific coast of Nicaragua. It is a Mecca for surfers and backpackers who generally stay in hostels or other cheap accommodations.
Ironically, there are a number of surf shops within the city but the waves in the bay are not much good for surfing. Each day surfers hop on shuttles that take them to the surrounding beaches where the waves are better. The two most popular beaches are, Playa Maderas to the north and to the south, Playa Remanso and Playa Hermosa. Thus the town of San Juan del Sur can be almost deserted during the day, even though the hotels and hostels are full. At night though, the surfers are back and San Juan del Sur lives up to its reputation as Nicaragua’s Party Central.
The demographics of the tourists visiting San Juan del Sur means that the wiser investments are at the low end of the tourist accommodation spectrum, hostels, cheap hotels or affordable vacation apartments and houses. Restaurants and bars too are a wise investment, especially those on the beach.
No matter if your interest is in making a large or small investment in real estate or a business in Nicaragua, retain the services of a competent lawyer and get good market advice. Nica Investments will be happy to assist you with your acquisition and we can recommend a few competent, reputable lawyers… Contact us.
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