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COSTA RICA'S LEADING ENGLISH LANGUAGE NEWSPAPER

Costa Rica Tourism in 2022: Demand is back

But so is a new Covid variant… Costa Rica travel businesses are nervous and yet also optimistic. Bookings in 2021 roared back despite restrictions on flights and concerns about the virus.

That was before the Omicron variant began to tear through Europe and parts of the United States. Experts agree that this new variant will eventually find its way to Costa Rica in a big way (there are just 4 confirmed cases in Costa Rica so far) but differ on what its effect will be and what should be the proper response.

The Costa Rica economy, especially the hospitality industry, has been extremely hard hit by the Covid pandemic. It was the hope of these professionals that 2022 would see the return to business as usual. All of that optimism is now tapered by concerns about not only if tourists will still be able to travel to Costa Rica but if they will be subject to strict measures in order to return to their home country.

So far, travel restrictions by most countries have not included Costa Rica on their “red” list of countries barring travel by their citizens. All of that could change if the Omicron variant rips through the country as it has elsewhere.

There is a school of thought that favors strict testing measures for all incoming passengers, fearing that the local health system could be overwhelmed, and Costa Rica risks getting barred as a travel destination.

There is another school that points to the mild effects of the new variant to those that are properly vaccinated. They point to the fact that businesses have suffered long enough, vaccines are widely available, so it is time to just learn to live with this virus, not unlike the flu.

The only thing that is certain, is nobody really knows for sure what the best approach is nor what 2022 will bring. No matter what, not everyone will be happy with whatever measures are, or are not taken.

A healthy and prosperous 2022 is what everyone wants. At least that is one thing everyone can agree on.

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