The tourism industry continues to voice deep concern over the exchange rate and governmental inaction. The sector emphasizes the severe impact on workers, with the alarming prospect of job losses in the near future if no decisive steps are taken.
Rubén Acón, President of the National Chamber of Tourism, cautioned that the appreciation of the colon and historically low dollar values at banks are pushing the sector into a new crisis. Just as the tourism industry was struggling to recover from the pandemic, it now faces an additional economic challenge.
Acón noted that tourism companies are operating at unsustainable losses, putting thousands of jobs at risk nationwide. He criticized the Central Bank of Costa Rica for refusing to intervene in the foreign exchange market to address the situation.
On December 18, Canatur sent a letter to the Central Bank’s Board of Directors, urging them to recognize the negative impacts of their decision not to intervene in stabilizing the exchange rate.
Acón expressed disappointment over the decisions made by the entity and the government.
“Despite our repeated requests, the Central Bank has chosen to ignore and turn a blind eye to a serious situation jeopardizing the financial stability of companies and the sector’s competitiveness. We regret that the only response we have received is silence, inattention, and indolence,” the CANATUR president pointed out.
The tourism sector, crucial for Costa Rica’s economic growth, employment, and community development, seeks the Minister of Tourism’s intervention. Acón appealed for changes in monetary policy to stabilize the exchange rate and alleviate the sector’s negative impact.
President Rodrigo Chaves, earlier this month, defended the exchange rate, indicating no further changes.
“Last November was the best ever for the tourism sector; likewise, the highest number of seats reserved for the high season since records have been kept, so it seems to me that here the sectors continue to gain weight. Those who are losing are the banks,” the President mentioned.