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Presentation of a project to improve Tourism and handicrafts in Nicaragua | Apr 20, 2009

Presenation conference of OTOP.
Róger Solórzano

The Nicaraguan Institute of Tourism and the Embassy of Taiwan in Nicaragua presented, during a press conference, details about a project called "One Town, One Product" (OTOP). It pretends to help developing handicrafts production and tourism in San Juan de Oriente (Masaya), Masatepe (Masaya) and San Juan de Limay (Estelí). This goal will be accomplished by improvements on production techniques and merchandising actions which were applied in Taiwan.

OTOP contributes to develop a better Marketing on distinctive handicrafts products of certain regions. According to what it was explained in the conference, after its first successes the project will also be applied in other regions of the country and the Central American region. The reason why those three municipalities were chosen is related with the large number of family workshops that make products of the same type. San Juan de Oriente is distinguished for its mud pieces, San Juan de Limay for its marble pieces and Masatepe for its wooden furniture.

A Taiwanese team visited this three areas to get to know more about the current situation of the handicraft production; they also exposed the project to the local artisans."We have founded a lot of similarities in the development of the handicrafts production between Taiwan and Nicaragua and that's why we think Taiwan's example can be really helpful," said Chun-Jen Huang, representative of the team. The Taiwanese team is currently making a diagnostic and a final report so that later OTOP can be implemented. The report will be handed to INTUR and the Embassy of Taiwan.

Cason Chu, Consultant chief of the team, explained during the conference that this program is implemented in different stages in order to accomplish a better local, national and foreigner merchandising. The program includes aspects such as the creation of new products, improvement of spaces, image design, on line merchandising, association with the local hotel industry, media support and much more.

The ambassador of Taiwán in Nicaragua, Jaime Wu, announced that during the time of the project implementation, which will be followed by the final report and the stage of consensus among local governments, artisans and advisors will have access to an US$180 million dollars budget. This amount of money will be given by the Taiwanese government to support programs like these in the Central American region. It is expected that the implementation of OTOP start this year, according to what the speakers explained.

Translation to English by Cinthia Membreño