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HomeNewsCosta Rica's Tourism Sector Faces Job Losses Amidst Exchange Rate Crisis

Costa Rica’s Tourism Sector Faces Job Losses Amidst Exchange Rate Crisis

The National Chamber of Tourism (CANATUR) disclosed that among its affiliated companies, 544 people were laid off during 2024. The companies indicated that they had no other option but to fire employees in the face of the negative effects of the exchange rate. If this steady devaluation of the U.S. dollar and the resulting appreciation of the local currency continue, the chamber expects another 918 layoffs in the coming weeks.

The private sector claims that the government maintains a destructive exchange rate policy, which has caused a lot of problems for companies in the tourism industry.

Shirley Calvo, executive director of CANATUR, said that since the pandemic, businesses are making an effort to survive. However, after the COVID-19 pandemic, right when the tourism industry was recovering, the colón began to appreciate. Employers must make the difficult decision as to whether or not the income is sufficient to maintain the payroll.

“Today we are here representing almost 1,500 families that are losing their jobs as a direct result of the exchange rate policy the BCCR is implementing in this country,” Calvo said at the press conference organized by the private sector.

In less than two years, the dollar went from being close to ¢700 to close to ¢500. Currently, the U.S. currency has the same price it had in 2014, that is, a decade ago.

The business community argues that these variations make it impossible for them to plan for the long term without incurring losses, make it difficult for them to invest, and jeopardize the stability of countless jobs.

It’s worth noting that the tourism sector is crucial to the Costa Rican economy, with thousands of families in rural areas, the most vulnerable, depending on it for their livelihoods.

Business owners reminded the authorities that there have been several occasions in which the Costa Rican productive sector has come together to warn about these layoffs as an effect of the decisions made by the government.

“The BCCR has sufficient legal and technical instruments to be able to restore balance to the exchange rate policy and sanity to the economic policy,” Calvo added.

While the private sector has already made several requests to the government to take actions, the Chaves administration has defended the current exchange rate and clarified it will not take further action to alter it.

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