Costa Rica Tourism Board proposes allowing visitors from EU, UK and Canada
The Costa Rica Tourism Board (ICT) has proposed that the government welcome visitors from the European Union and the United Kingdom, followed by Canada.
In a Wednesday press release, the ICT “respectfully requested” Costa Rica’s major international airports be allowed to accept commercial and private flights from select countries starting July 1.
“Beginning with flights from the European Union and the United Kingdom, for citizens and residents of that region, [and] continuing with those of Canada,” the ICT statement read.
President Carlos Alvarado said earlier Wednesday that the government will announce firm plans for international tourism later this week.
The ICT’s request should not be considered as that official announcement, but it could suggest at the country’s short- and medium-term plans for economic reactivation through tourism.
“If international tourism is not reactivated for the months of July and August, the survival of many tourist small businesses dependent on foreign markets could be threatened,” the ICT said.
“Medium and large companies have warned that, if [tourism] does not resume in those months, they would postpone their openings until November with a consequent extension of contract suspensions and a clear effect on unemployment.”
The Tourism Board said it has helped to develop protocols for contact tracing visitors, and to address the eventuality that foreigners will require hospitalizations or extended isolation.
It did not provide further details regarding those protocols.
An official announcement from the Health Ministry and the Costa Rican Presidency is expected later this week. (To reiterate, this ICT request is not that official announcement.)
Tourism comprises an estimated 8.2% of Costa Rica’s GDP.
In 2019, Costa Rica welcomed 3.1 million foreign visitors, 4.1% more than in 2018. Those tourists remained in the country for an average of 12.6 days and spent an average of $1,400, according to the ICT.
Last year, nearly 235,000 people visited Costa Rica from Canada, while more than 500,000 people arrived from Europe.
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