"And the establishments that most successfully draw in rich tourists are themselves owned & run by foreigners because they best understand foreign likes & dislikes, speak their language, know where to advertize, &c. They're for-profit businesses, and most of the windfall leaves the poor country."
I don't agree, but here in the north in Las Penitas-Leon, there ARE foreign owned establishments, and ALL mom and pop types, individuals with a dream. If there weren't for foreign owners there wouldn't be a Las Penitas for tourists to visit and stay. Of the establishments on the water, either beach or bay, there is only one Nica owned and 7 international owners (one American(Playa Roca), 2 Canadian, 2 French, one German and one Swiss).
"Survivors" will help Nicararagua, but per usual will help SJDS and the Granada regions more, as almost all propaganda from nearly ALL governmental sponsored tourist advertising forcus on these two spots, Ometepe, or Corn Islands nearly exclusively. Northern Nicaragua gets the crumbs left over, mostly word of mouth from the more traveled tourist, NGO's, and web site searches. Did you notice in Intur/ProNicaragua web site the had listed under "Nicaragua's Playa's" San Juan del Sur, Ometepe and Corn Island only. Playa's of Nicaragua includes SJDS, obviously, but 2 sparsely populated Islands! Curious to eliminate the most diverse region of all Nicaragua.
"Survivor" is a major bonus for Nicaragua as a whole, especially the "image" that has for decades been either non-existent or very negative (war, guerrillas behind every tree, communists, poverty, etc.). Every single tourist that flies into Managua impacts the economy. Airport fee's, terminal personnel, taxi's, car rentals, restaurants, buses, hotels/hostels, gift shops, the beer companies drivers, the restaurants supplies, the fisherman, hardware stores, etc. Thousands of JOBS and millions of dollars a day that come from OUTSIDE and are spent here and circulates HERE.
We have 11 employee's and there are 100 on a waiting list to WORK. If advertised "workers wanted" we could have a 1000+. Because of what we have to offer to the tourist, we have tripled in the last 3 years even during the recession. BUT from losing a lot of money to coming close to even is just the risk of trying to live a dream of living in a beach paradise and sharing in a location no one really knows about. The coffee and cigar plantations, the waterfalls and highland lakes, skiing down volcanoes, incredible beach front locations are just minutes from the major colonial/historical capital city of Leon. World class surfing, un-fished (commercial and Charter) Pacific Ocean, Isla de San Juan National Wildlife Preserve walking distance from Las Penitas!
david cardin on facebook http://www.nicaliving.com/node/17621
Learn Spanish "ON THE BEACH!" $45 Ocean Front Suite to a $6 ocean dorm www.playaroca.com
Nicaragua is the "Survivors" choice of destinations and we need more survivors interested in experiencing paradise for dimes on the dollar. Save more money on vacation than staying at home! http://www.laspenitas.net
Advertising like above is what I use to try to reach the international traveler, it works to an extent that they surf the internet tagging Nicaragua or Beaches or Learning Spanish or Pacific Ocean Surfing. "Survivor" IS a reality, millions upon millions of people will be exposed to the beauty and nature of Nicaragua and can't help but have a positive impact. We (Playa Roca and Northern Nicaragua) will get the "trickle down" exposure from the series, but ANYTHING will be a BIG help to put Nicaragua "ON THE POSITIVE MAP" and Nicaraguans to WORK, no just "free" hand-out money. They need our help to climb out of their political and economic mess, and being "good" role models and supporting their communities will only bolster their rise to self determinism as a nation OF, BY and FOR the PEOPLE, and not of, by and for the government(dictatoship) or corporations(ALBA INC).