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COSTA RICA'S LEADING ENGLISH LANGUAGE NEWSPAPER

Costa Rica will be the first in Central America to implement an Artificial Intelligence strategy

Costa Rica is set to become the first country in Central America to develop and implement an artificial intelligence (AI) strategy. The Ministry of Science, Innovation, Technology and Telecommunications of Costa Rica has partnered with UNESCO and the Andean Development Cooperation to create a national AI policy that identifies AI projects and presents the strategy by August 2023.

The focus of the policy is on developing an ethical and responsible vision for AI, and the agreement has been hailed as an important step in the region’s development of inclusive and sustainable technology. The initiative has received support from several organizations, including the Inter-American Development Bank.

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Professionalizing bird watching tourism in Costa Rica

The National Birdwatching Tourism Board is working to professionalize the birdwatching tourism sector in order to increase the number of tourists visiting various regions.

In 2019, approximately 750,000 tourists carried out birdwatching tourism activities, generating $800 million in revenue for Costa Rica. Sergio Arias, director of the board, highlighted the importance of training those involved to ensure tourists have the ideal conditions.

Birdwatchers tend to spend more than the average tourist, with an average of $200 to $300 per day. The board is working with the Costa Rican Tourism Institute to promote the country as a birdwatching destination, and to create tourism opportunities in non-traditional areas such as Turrialba, Coto Brus, the Osa Peninsula, Caño Negro, and the Nicoya Peninsula.

With the right conditions, Costa Rica can become an outstanding birdwatching destination.

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Accessible tourism in Costa Rica

Panama Beach in Guanacaste, Costa Rica has inaugurated an inclusive changing room, a 60-meter folding and retractable plastic wooden walkway for wheelchairs to access the sea, and a pair of modern amphibious chairs. Tiffany Contreras and Jacqueline Cortes were the first to use these new amenities, which allowed them to enjoy a wonderful day at the beach.

The spaces feature an entrance ramp with a handrail, a wide door with accessible locks and bars, non-slip floors, a transfer crane, a toilet of adequate height and folding bars on the sides, mirrors, an accessible sink with bars, electric changing bed, bath chair, shower, telephone, emergency button, lighting, and ventilation. In addition, an external shower was installed outside.

This initiative was possible thanks to the cooperation between the Costa Rican Network of Accessible Tourism with its project Dona Tapa and the Costa Rican Tourism Institute.

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Costa Rica’s New Sailfish Ruling, Conservation or Smoke and Mirrors?

The Casa Presidencial recently announced a ruling by INCOPESCA of a reduction in the amount of incidental catch allowed by commercial fishermen on sailfish from 15% to 10% of their total catch on each trip to the ocean. These fish can be sold on the National market but cannot be exported. I don´t think if the President was fully informed of the shady history of sailfish in this country, he would readily attach his name to this as a positive move for sailfish.

13% of all tourisms motive to come to Costa Rica is sport fishing and the primary species they seek is sailfish. They buy condos, pay taxes, employ Ticos, and pump millions of dollars into the economy every year. The domino effect for hotels, transport companies, eco tours, restaurants etc, is an immense boom to coastal communities.

Of all the Central and North American countries, Costa Rica has the least protection of sailfish. The truth is A live sailfish feeds many more Ticos than a dead one

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