- Following a call to avoid travel on these dates during the first year of the pandemic, the sector now calls on Costa Ricans to do so responsibly.
In the lead-up to Holy Week, chambers of tourism around the country came together to send a message to motivate the Costa Ricans who plan on traveling during the holiday to redouble their efforts to remain safe and follow the protocols established by the public health authorities.
About 80 participants from more than twenty organizations and companies that were represented at the First Meeting of Chambers and Tourism Entrepreneurs agreed to launch this call to the population to travel responsibly, to take care of themselves and to take care of all tourism workers who are prepared to receive them during the holiday.
The event was organized through an initiative of the Turrialba Chamber of Tourism, with the support of the Costa Rican Tourism Board and the National Chamber of Tourism, with the objective of providing joint solutions to recover from the crisis facing the tourism industry.
“On behalf of the chambers that were represented at the meeting, we want to ask Costa Rican citizens who plan to go on vacation during this holiday to take care of one another while traveling and to minimize the risk of infection by following the recommendations and protocols,” said Ida Herrera, President of the Turrialba Chamber of Tourism, one of the organizers of the meeting.
Last year, the tourism sector called on Costa Ricans to stay at home, in line with the recommendations of the Ministry of Health. Their message now is to travel responsibly.
Gustavo Segura, the Minister of Tourism, joined them in issuing an emphatic call to strictly follow public health measures and for all Costa Ricans visiting tourist destinations during Holy Week to respect health and safety protocols.
“Let me begin by offering my heartfelt thanks to the families who wish to visit the country’s tourist destinations for providing economic relief to the hundreds of families who depend on tourism in our country,” said Segura. “However, I would like to sincerely request that you do so with absolute respect for the prevention protocols because we are still in times of pandemic. I urge you all to keep using a mask, practicing social distancing, not mixing between bubbles or forming crowds unnecessarily. We can do tourism responsibly by adhering to the established health protocols.”
Meanwhile, Shirley Calvo, Executive Director of Canatur, noted that the sector advised Costa Ricans to put off their travel last year for a later date.
“We asked you to refrain from visiting beaches, mountains or leaving your homes. This year, now that we have the tools to protect ourselves, we call on you to spend your holiday responsibly at tourist destinations throughout the country, which are prepared to receive you with every safety measure in place.”
Conclusions of the meeting
The event was held in Turrialba in response to an urgent call, with invitees including chambers of tourism as well as tourism organizations and entrepreneurs from around the country, representatives of the financial sector and academia, and federal deputies.
Over two days, participants presented their perspectives on needs and possible solutions along in four thematic areas:
- Creation of a financial product for the sector
- Review of draft legislation
- Operating cost reduction strategy
- Marketing strategies to promote domestic and international tourism
The agreements reached included the launch of a group work process that integrates regional chambers, business leaders from the sector, and all the people and institutions who, in one way or another, will have to be part of resolving the serious crisis that the tourism industry is going through.
Actions are already being coordinated to continue the work that was completed during the meeting. These include a proposal to carry out a census to establish the actual economic impact throughout the sector. Likewise, the tourism business sector is seeking advice from banks on the technical assistance and financial support necessary to achieve their financing objectives, as well as to be able to operate their businesses in a responsible and successful way in the midst of the crisis. A follow-up meeting will be coordinated with the bank to determine the feasibility of the conclusions relating to financial matters.
The marketing proposals are aimed at working on product development processes in the natural and cultural segments, which will generate concrete products in line with new trends and the economic situation to serve as the basis for the development of marketing material and content in every region of the country.
In terms of costs, it was concluded that there is an urgent need for a review of the rates and methodologies employed to calculate the fees for services used by the sector, specifically, electricity rates, licenses, internet and fees, among others.