A theme of social responsibility ran through President Oscar Arias’ recent speech to prospective investors at the Second Annual Costa Rica Tourism Investment Summit. He called tourism the “driving force” behind the development of the country, and emphasized that such power comes with serious responsibilities.
“The Costa Rican dream obligates us to look past the limits of our hotels, and our businesses.We shouldn’t be asking only ‘how can we build more, or taller, hotels,’ but also, ‘how can we raise the standard of living of our citizens,” Arias said.
The two-day event, held at the Inter-Continental Hotel in Escazú Feb. 20-21, attracted upwards of 300 hotel-owners, consultants, developers, bankers and investors from all over the world and featured a series of seminars on understanding Costa Rica’s complex business and environmental laws, sustainable tourism, U.S. marketing techniques and updates on countrywide infrastructure projects.
The seminars, according to Arias, were intended to help potential investors make the most of the country’s stable political and economic environment, in a sustainable manner, for the benefit of both foreign visitors and Ticos.
Arias pleaded with prospective developers to respect Costa Rica’s environmental laws, which he said are critical to the future well-being of tourism and quality of life in Costa Rica.
“If there is anyone interested in the conservation of Costa Rica’s natural resources, it’s the businessmen who earn their living from them,” he said.