As of February of this year, requests for construction permits in the booming northwestern province of Guanacaste during the past 12 months had shot up 762% –no, that’s not a typo – compared to the same period the previous year (February 2004-February 2005).
Guanacaste also dethroned traditional construction leader San José as the place with the highest number of construction permits, exceeding it by 30% during the year, the daily La República reported.
The affluence of foreigners who come to Guanacaste for vacations, to build second homes, to look for investment opportunities and to retire is primarily responsible for this growth, according to the daily. The construction of a Holiday Inn, JW Marriott and several malls added significantly to this figure as well.
Luis Amador, of the national Construction Chamber, told the daily Guanacaste’s natural attractions, the TempisqueRiverBridge and the DanielOduberInternationalAirport have all contributed to the province’s growth. However, to keep up with the construction boom, improvements in infrastructure are urgently needed, he said.
Last month, the Guanacaste Chamber of Tourism (CATURGUA) launched an ad campaign criticizing President Abel Pacheco for allowing the region’s roads to deteriorate.
The ads said the area’s tourism growth has been compromised by pothole-filled highways (TT,March 10).
This week, frustrated residents blocked area roads in an attempt to speed up repairs (see separate story).