A coalition of more than half a dozen public and private organizations representing the tourism industry plans an Aug. 16 exposition to get local travel agencies acquainted with their options.
The nine organizations, including the national chamber of tourism and the Instituto Costarricense de Turismo, expect more than 85 businesses to have booths at the Travel Show Expo 2012 and an additional 125 to attend, said organizer Erick Asch.
Asch explained that many of the hotels, restaurants, tour companies, travel agencies and other businesses are small operations, and as such, they have difficulty connecting with potential customers.
“There have been very few opportunities to promote ourselves, because we are small businesses,” said Asch. “We need to sell now or never.”
This event is the second of three expos held every year for such businesses. The first one was in May and the third one will be in November.
Asch is no stranger to the problems facing small businesses in the tourism industry and how necessary promotion is. He and his family have owned and operated a small hotel in Manuel Antonio, called Hotel Divisamar, for 35 years.
“We know the needs and the results we have to have,” he said.
However, more than just promotion, Asch said that an equally valuable part of the event for businesses is the ability for these businesses to network with one another and help each other.
“We have the chance and the opportunity to talk between companies,” he said. “It’s very rare for us to talk with one another.”
The expo will run from 1 p.m. until 6 p.m. at the Radisson Hotel in Calles Blancos, and it will be free and open to the public.