One of the reasons that many foreigners flock to Jacó , Costa Rica’s Central Pacific coastal town, is sex, trade that now transcends the night and tourism businesses.
Prostitution in Jacó can now be found at anytime and anywhere, especially in private condominiums and hotels not certified by the government. This according to Gustavo Araya, vice-president of the Costa Rican Chamber of Hotels.
Gustavo, in a radio interview Monday, said that proposed regulation not be limted to tourism, but include the ministry of Seguridad (Security) and Hacienda (Finance) with the power to close these businesses.
The lack of government presence in the area is the blame for the widespread prostitution, this according to Marvin Elizondo, the mayor of Garabito.
In his view, the fault lies with the Instituto Costarricense de Turismo (ICT) – tourism ministry – and Security.
Elizondo emphasized that the absence of a regulatory plan precludes him to approve or disapprove establishment operating permits supposedly related to sex tourism.
The ICT, through a representative, told the radio program that the Minister of Tourism, Allan Flores, is particularly interested in identifying establishments related to sex tourism and “cancel” their tourism declaration.
Over the years Jacó has always been known for a sex heaven, where sex can be bought and sold openly with little or no police intervention.
Unlike today, most of the foregoing activities were at night and centred in locations like the Beatle Bar, and night clubs. During the day Jacó was a “normal” beach town.
Today, the Beatle Bar is closed and so are the night clubs. Their closure was economic (no business) and not legal. Where once a visit to these night spots was essential for the sex tourist, quickly they became not necessary, prostitution was everywhere and at any time.