Market Access of Small and Medium-Sized Rural Tourism Enterprises of Central America

31 Aug 11

The Programme for Market Access of Small and Medium-Sized Rural Tourism Enterprises of Central America was launched recently, for a period of eighteen months, within the framework of the ST-EP Initiative and thanks to the financing of the ST-EP Foundation.

The first phase of this project consisted of a seminar on e-commerce organized this month by SITCA, the Central American Tourism Integration Secretariat, in the context of the Second Forum on Rural Tourism with the theme "A Window to Central American Union". Its objective was the promotion and consolidation of a network of rural inns of Central America through e-commerce, thus transforming rural tourism into an engine of development for local communities.

A second phase will offer technical assistance to SMEs to help them assimilate various e-commerce tools such as search engines and hotel reservation portals, as well as to adapt and update the website of rural inns www.posadasruralesdeca.com. Some 35 rural tourism SMEs, which are members of the network or rural inns, are the beneficiaries of this initiative.