The London World Travel Market was thrilled to be welcoming representatives from Nicaragua to this year’s event.

Anasha Campbell-Lewis, Director General of INTUR, the Nicaraguan Tourism board, will herself be present at the company’s stand. She is here to promote to potential tourists and tourism investors what she feels are Nicaragua’s three key areas of national pride: “Culture, natural setting, and our people”.

Nicaragua is the largest country in Central America. Tourism has been growing steadily over the course of this century and is now Nicaragua’s second largest industry. Foreign investment opportunities have also long been plentiful in a country with such rich potential, from its golden beaches to the slopes of volcanoes where skiing has become a favourite tourist pastime.

None of this is to say that the country has lost any of its natural beauty and character in a rush to welcome tourists. Nicaragua is, in fact, a growing hotspot for ecotourism, with its focus on preserving local cultures, environments and ecosystems. These local cultures are in themselves rich in indigenous music, dance, food and folklore. ‘Nicaragua Te Quiero Tal Como Sos’ or ‘I like you just as you are’ was the tag-line of an INTUR marketing campaign earlier this year and INTUR have an enviable amount of strengths and opportunities to bring to the World Trade Market ‘just as they are’.

On the face of it, travel to areas such as Nicaragua may still sound like the preserve of the backpacking few, intrigued by the country’s past. Yet in 2018, with so much changing in the world and how we perceive different countries, stereotypes are there merely to be broken.

Nicaragua is one country that has shed its past and defies any lingering 20th-century stereotypes. It is bountiful in opportunities for all kinds of tourists, whether you’re a volcano-surfing thrill-seeker or a beach-bliss sun-worshipper. Roughly the same size as Greece, Nicaragua can amply accommodate all of these and more.