The Tourism Movement for Costa Rica is once again urging the current administration to support the sector. According to the organization, the high interest rates and exchange rate are negatively impacting the industry.
“The high cost of living in the country, along with high interest rates for loans, has resulted in a 22% reduction in income for the tourism industry,” said Bary Roberts, spokesperson for Tourism for Costa Rica.
He also emphasized that Costa Rican tourism companies are predominantly small and microenterprises located in the country’s most underdeveloped areas, providing employment opportunities for the most vulnerable population.
“Given the situation, the government must adjust monetary policy, stabilize interest rates at appropriate levels, balance the exchange rate, and consider measures to alleviate the heavy tax burden faced by tourism companies,” highlighted the organization.
Data from the latest Continuous Employment Survey by INEC clearly indicates that the country’s unemployment rate has once again surpassed 10%. The survey also reveals that 118,000 jobs have been lost this year, with 42% of them originating from the tourism industry.
“Since the beginning of this year, we have been warning about the detrimental effects of maintaining an unnecessarily high Central Bank Monetary Policy Rate, which, in an attempt to control accounting inflation, leads to increased interest rates and daily expenses,” stated the organization.
Despite an improvement in visitor numbers following the pandemic, companies still face significant liquidity issues. The high cost of living in the country, along with high interest rates for loans, has resulted in a 22% reduction in income for the tourism industry.
“These are the consequences of high taxes, increased credit fees, and an overall rise in the cost of living,” commented Roberts.
This is not the first time that tourism organizations have united to request assistance from the government. Business owners are concerned about their fragile economy and the lack of empathy and action from the authorities.
“We are asking the government to take urgent action to support the tourism sector, which is essential for the country’s economy and well-being,” said Roberts. “If they do not act soon, we will see even more businesses close and more jobs lost.”
The Tourism Movement for Costa Rica is calling on the government to implement a series of measures to support the tourism sector, including:
- Reducing interest rates
- Balancing the exchange rate
- Alleviating the tax burden on tourism companies
- Providing financial assistance to tourism businesses
- Investing in marketing and promotion of Costa Rica as a tourist destination
The organization is confident that these measures will help to revitalize the tourism sector and create jobs. They are urging the government to take action now to prevent further damage to the industry.