Some 200 representatives of tourism chambers and associations, entrepreneurs and professionals are meeting this week at the 18th National Tourism Congress to discuss key issues to improve Costa Rica’s status as a popular tourist destination.
The two-day event, organized by the National Chamber of Tourism (CANATUR), aims to outline a roadmap with guidelines to improve the sector’s competitiveness, said the chamber’s executive director, Tatiana Cascante.
The conclusions and recommendations will be sent to President Luis Guillermo Solís and officials of the Costa Rican Tourism Board (ICT).
Cascante said that participants will discuss proposals in six priority areas: linking tourism products, product differentiation, human resource training, positioning of Costa Rica in the international market, environmental protection and strengthening of the Tourism Ministry.
She noted that although the six areas are key for the sector’s development, during the congress they will focus on positioning Costa Rica in international markets, due mostly to the increasing development of other regional countries, mostly Panama.
CANATUR President Pablo Heriberto Abarca said that the congress’ conclusions “easily could become the basis for the government’s official policy for the tourism sector.”
The tourism industry, according to the Central Bank of Costa Rica, last year generated some $2.2 billion, representing a bigger figure, for example, than income from traditional export products such as bananas and coffee.