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Central American Travel Company Offers Agents Tips on Selling Costa Rica, Panama and Nicaragua

July 14, 2015 By: Joe Pike

Costa Rica is one of three destinations that the Namu Travel Group specializes in.

NEW YORK CITY, New York - Travel Agent recently sat down with Rob Harper, director of business development and co-owner of the Namu Travel Group, which operates customized tours to and within Costa Rica, Panama and Nicaragua. Besides sharing some new on his company's possible expansion plans, Harper also shared some vital travel tips for agents looking to sell the three destinations Namu currently specializes in.

Here's what he has to say about who agents should be targeting when it comes to selling Costa Rica, Panama and Nicaragua:

Costa Rica

"Decades ago, travelers to took their first jump into Latin America in Mexico. Now, people are taking that first jump into Latin America in Costa Rica. This is really for people who are perhaps not as well-traveled as others. They want to go to places where they know some family and friends who have been there. Eco-tourism is really the world that Costa Rica owns in the mind of consumers and it's also a great place to bring the kids. Our average trip size there is about three to four people, so we're talking about a lot of trips with mom and dad and two kids. But its mainly very eco-tourism centric."


"I think if you want to go to Panama, it's probably someone who's looking for a little more history, tradition and culture. Panama City has a ton of history that goes through it - the ancient Spanish Empire history that goes through there, the old gold route, Casco Viejo - and you're not going to go to many places in Latin America or Central America particularly that has U.S. history and the [Panama] Canal is a big piece of U.S. history."


"If you are going here, you are more of a pioneer type of a traveler. That's not your first jump into Latin America. You have some stamps in your passport. It's probably for of an adventurous couple and we don't get a lot of people bringing young kids there. You're a bit more of an explorer."

About the Namu Travel Group 

Rob Harper, director of business development and co-owner of the Namu Travel Group

Namu Travel Group is a Central American travel company that operates customized tours to and within Costa Rica, Panama and Nicaragua. They also own an impressive hotel in the Guanacaste region of Costa Rica called Villa Buena Onda. The company offers agents 10 percent commission.

The Central America based travel agents who work throughout the network are highly experienced and trained to provide clients with unique experiences.

"We are not trying to be everything to everybody," says Harper. "Not only do we not book the globe, we don't even book all of Latin America, all of Central America. We are very specific. We are niche in those three countries. That's why we don't have to do our stuff through another on-the-ground operator. We go directly to the source."

Its first foray into the market was Costa Rica Vacations, when the brand was established, in late 1999. In the following decade, Panama Vacations and Nicaragua Vacations emerged.

Possible Expansions?

Harper told Travel Agent if and when the company decides to expand, it would most likely be to Belize and Peru.

"In the short term, we may stay more Central America centric," he says, "so I would imagine that Belize would make the most sense for us. There's also a lot of opportunity in Peru. There are unique experiences, great food and the dining options of trips are becoming more popular for people."

Visit and keep visiting for all the latest Latin America news. Be sure to follow Travel Agent's Joe Pike on Twitter @TravelPike

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About the Author

Joe Pike
Joe Pike is Travel Agent's senior editor covering the Caribbean, Bahamas & Bermuda; Hawaii; Central & South America. Previously, Pike was a newspaper reporter for The Asbury Park...

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By Joe Pike | July 14, 2015
Rob Harper, director of business development and co-owner of the Namu Travel Group, gives Travel Agent some tips on qualifying Costa Rica, Panama and Nicaragua clients.