Despite the rise in tourist arrivals in May, with over 72,000 travelers visiting Costa Rica, both the National Chamber of Tourism (CANATUR) and the Hotels Association (CCH) stated that the industry is far from recovery and many businesses and jobs remain at risk.
So far this year, the number of visitors in Costa Rica is 73% lower than the figures during the same period of 2019. The experts call the situation a tourism crisis.
“We must recognize that it is very encouraging to know that the country is recovering; however, despite these small signs of improvement, there is still a long way to recover from the worst times of the crisis,” said Rubén Acón, president of CANATUR.
Meanwhile, the lack of government aid continues to be a concern for several businesses that have failed in their efforts to recover.
“Of course, the figures are positive. However, we are still in the middle of a pandemic and the recovery will be in the medium and long term. The hotel and tourism industry, in general, urgently need financial support to get out of the tourism crisis, so it is vitally important to have different mechanisms that allow small, medium and large companies to access working capital, long-term debt restructuring and reduction of interest rates,” said Javier Pacheco, president of the CCH.
For the businessmen, it is also necessary that the government give priority to loan, digital nomads and retiree projects, which would attract new market niches and allow demand diversification.