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Bilingual staff shortage.

BILINGUAL STAFF SHORTAGE. The difficulty in finding English speakers is the main bottleneck to Nicaragua's tourism industry, reports Laprensa.com.ni (March 22, 2013).

Friday, March 22, 2013. In 2012, Nicaragua received 241,000 visitors from the U.S., 77,000 from Europe and 30,710 from Canada, representing 30% of the total of the 1.18 million tourists. This segment is becoming increasingly difficult for local operators to cater to, due to a shortage of bilingual staff. Veronica Wyman, president of the Assn of Tourism Touroperators in Nicaragua, estimates that less than 25% of tour guides are proficient in English, and that they are difficult to locate, adding "the country right now is not capable of receiving a high number of American and European tourists." The situation has created strong competition for staff between hotels, tour operators, bars and restaurants with the call center industry, which offers salaries of between $500 and $700 a month. Jorge Solorzano, secretary of the Assn of Hotels of Nicaragua, adds: "We have a big problem. When we get someone who speaks English and train them and then bring them to work in the hotel, call centers come and take them away because they can pay a higher salary. It is a problem of supply and demand in the market "
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Title Annotation:NICARAGUA
Publication:Caribbean Update
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:2NICA
Date:May 1, 2013
Words:216
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