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The Secret is in Collaboration
Letter to the Editor

I was delighted to read your report, "The Future of Tourism" to promote sustainable and responsible tourism in the lower Guanacaste beach communities. As a destination development specialist for the World Bank and other international clients, I believe there is now an opportunity to capitalize on the region's distinctive attributes, particularly in markets that have not yet discovered this beautiful corner of the world.

International tourism is now undergoing a technological transformation having substantial impacts—particularly in outbound travel from Great Britain and the EU— to bring smaller destinations outside the mainstream into the forefront of long haul travel.

The secret is in collaboration, as the Chambers recognize, but also in the bundling, promotion and delivery of services that create an integrated visitor experience. For example: Nosara is known for surfing and yoga and several hotels offer packages that combine lodging with these activities, encouraging extended stays. But there is little evidence that these offers bundle airport transfers, car and ATV rentals, fiestas and festivals, vegetarian meals or adventure (fishing, kayaking, horseback riding, hiking etc.) as a complete destination experience.

In the US and, to a lesser extent, Canada, Expedia and a few other online travel agencies dominate web reservations. But these services charge small hotels an arm and a leg (more than 30 percent commission), are slow to settle accounts and have little local and timely content. In sum, it is all about transactions, not visitor experience. But in the UK and Europe, countryside destinations are increasingly presenting vacation choices online, working with inbound operators to introduce themed experiences that solve many of the logistical challenges and with an emphasis on both responsible travel and customer service.

After a dozen visits over the past few years my wife and I are beginning the long process of building a house in the American Project to move permanently to Costa Rica.With new air service from Europe to Liberia there are now remarkable opportunities for lower Guanacaste destinations to expand their offer with highly targeted campaigns into niche markets. This is an exciting time in tourism development and I look forward to the prospects for sustainable growth and new training and job opportunities for Ticos.

Alvin Rosenbaum
Senior Research Scholar
International Institute of Tourism Studies
The George Washington University


 

More Community News

Aikido in Samara
Self-Defense Workshops are Fun and Practical

Afraid to walk the beach at night? The danger of being attacked, robbed or raped is one reason Eddie Mora has decided to offer personal defense workshops as a community project in Samara based on the non-violent martial art of Aikido. 

Teacher Wanted to Help Ostional Kids in Math and English

The Surfing Nosara Foundation is working with the Ostional Elementary School to provide a free before/after school tutorial program in English, math and technology that lasts for 3 months beginning in early March and is searching for a bilingual teacher to work with students and implement a proven, established curriculum.  

Nosara Turns 24

On January 26th we celebrated the creation of our District: Nosara. Therefore this could well be considered the most important local calendar date. Twenty-four years ago this region, which now forms the sixth district of the Canton of Nicoya, belonged to the central district of the canton.

CREAR Summer Camp Stimulates Samara Kids

As boring as school may be for many kids, summer vacation can be even more boring with nothing to do, but CREAR offered the children of Samara and El Torito fun (and educational) activities during free two-week summer camps in January.

Friends of Nosara Celebrates Partner Achievements at Annual Meeting
• More than $107,000 received in 2011

At its Annual Meeting Sunday, January 8, Friends of Nosara (FON) Treasurer, Mike Olson, reported that the organization had received more than $107,000 in gifts in 2011 and had distributed more $114,448 to community groups during the year.

Nosara ASADA to Elect a New President February 22nd

It's election time for the Nosara ASADA (Water Administration Association/ Asociación Administradora del Agua), and the position of president is vacant. Elections take place every two years and will be held at the annual assembly on Wednesday, February 22nd at the ASADA office.

"Rumors" in Nosara

Living in a small town, Nosareños know how easily rumors can get started. Misunderstandings, secrets and lies are all part of what makes the intrigue of a small town exciting. Things are no different in the world of Neil Simon's New York where a group of socialites gather to celebrate the 10th wedding anniversary of two of their closest friends.

 

 

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