MANAGUA, Nicaragua – The fifth annual Central American Travel Market (CATM) came to a successful close on Sunday, October 12, 2008 after three days of showcasing the region’s best travel offerings. More than 460 buyers and suppliers and 70 journalists came together for the exposition, which took place for the first time in Nicaragua’s capital, Managua. More than 980 business meetings took place during the event.
The international expo was open to wholesalers, outbound tour operators, and travel buyers from Europe, Asia, North and South America, and the Caribbean with proven interest in Central American tourism.
Participants experienced the best of Nicaragua during hosted pre-tours throughout the country and at VIP events in Managua and Granada. The inaugural ceremony showcased folkloric performances in one of Managua’s most spectacular venues – the Ruben Dario National Theater – a 1,200-seat concert hall named after the country’s renowned poet. Other events included a dinner in the colonial city of Granada, at an 18th-century restored fortress, with live music from one of Nicaragua’s most celebrated musical groups. Sunday evening’s closing celebration was sponsored by El Salvador, the host country for CATM 2009.
“The great success of CATM 2008 reinforces Nicaragua’s appeal as a site for major corporate meetings and events,” said Nicaragua’s Minister of Tourism, Mario Salinas. “Nicaraguans are renowned for their hospitality and warmth,” he added. “Combined with a much improved infrastructure and incredible value, Nicaragua is a competitive and attractive offering for organizations seeking world-class services, venues, and amenities at affordable prices.”
“In addition,” he added, “Nicaragua is making significant strides in the areas of sustainable and rural tourism. During 2009, we will be placing great emphasis on helping local communities develop their travel offerings.”
CATM’s trade show days took place October 10-12, 2008, with pre-tours starting on the 7th and post-tours of the other member countries commencing on the 13th.
From March 24-26, 2009, the Central America Tourism & Hotel Investment Exchange (CATHIE) will gather hotel and tourism industry leaders in Managua to discuss investment opportunities in Central America. The event will incorporate a conference program, exhibit hall, and one-on-one meetings and will be sponsored by the Foreign Investment Advisory Service (FIAS). For more information, visit www.cathieconference.com .