In an open letter to the government, the Guanacaste Tourism Chamber (CATURGUA) has asked that Costa Rica welcome tourists from the United States.
The letter, published last week and signed by several local tourism chambers, cites the growing economic crisis as the reason for needing more North American tourists.
“The Guanacaste Tourism Chamber makes a vehement call to the Government of the Republic for it to allow the arrival of tourists from the United States of America to Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport starting in this month of August,” the letter reads.
“It is an urgent necessity to attenuate the unemployment the pandemic has caused and provide economic support to the companies that are trying to survive until better times.”
Since August 2, Costa Rica has allowed tourists from Canada, the United Kingdom and the European Union. That amounts to five commercial flights per week, all of which arrive at Juan Santamaría International Airport near San José.
“We are convinced that the economic reactivation measures presented by the Government of the Republic to counter the jobs crisis don’t correspond to the Costa Rican context, much less that of Guanacaste,” CATURGUA said.
Citing data from the Costa Rica Tourism Board, CATURGUA said 74% of the nearly 600,000 people who arrived at Liberia’s International Airport in 2019 did so from the United States.
“It is no secret that the economic support of U.S. tourism is the most significant for the region of Guanacaste,” the letter reads.
CATURGUA joins the Costa Rican-American Chamber of Commerce in asking for the return of U.S. visitors.
The Costa Rica Tourism Board (ICT) and Health Ministry said they will reevaluate the list of approved countries for tourism every two weeks.
The United States has issued a Level 4 travel advisory for Costa Rica, telling its citizens to avoid travel here due to COVID-19 and to “exercise increased caution in Costa Rica due to crime.”