(QCOSTARICA) The Costa Rican Chamber of Hotels (CCH) stated that they cannot continue resisting the current economic crisis given the enormous uncertainty in tourism due to the “insufficient” measures that the Government has taken.
“The hotel sector can no longer hold on. The announcements of support for tourism are half-hearted and what the Government has been announcing has not been met or is progressing at a rate that disadvantages us, if things continue like this, next month there will be total closures and massive layoffs,” said the president of the CCH, Javier Pacheco.
The hotel industry requires the government to take exceptional measures such as declaring a state of economic emergency in the entire tourism sector to address the situation it is facing. The president of the group requested that “urgently give the support that we have been requesting since this crisis began.”
The measures requested by the Chamber are oriented at the financial level, the opening of borders, worker protection, social security, public services, among others.
- Opening of borders: Open maritime and air borders, with a definitive date, July 1, in support of the economic reactivation.
- Financial: Support in the readjustment of long-term debts, accessible credits for working capital, medium-term grace periods and creation of a line of guarantees and guarantees for access to credits.
- Social Security: Maintain the reduction to 25% of the Minimum Tax Base (BMC), for an additional 6 months.
- Bono Proteger: Extend the bonus for at least 6 more months.
- Public services: Maintain the reduction and remission of 50% in the collection of electricity and water for an additional 6 months.
- Legislative support: Support of the legislators in the approval of laws such as labor flexibility, competitiveness and attraction of direct investment.
For the hotel sector representative, it is urgent that mechanisms be sought to provide the CCSS and other public institutions with resources if necessary, “the government must supply alternative sources so that the institutions continue to meet their obligations and attend to the crisis efficiently,” he suggested.
Survey reveals reopening of only 47%
According to the survey by the CCG, only 47% of the hotels reopened after permission to do so with a 50% capacity limit, in force for all since June 1.
The beach areas is where a greater number of operators restarted work, where 54% answered that they already have the places open. The country’s beaches are permitted open between 5:00 am and 8:00 am.
In the mountains, the reopening was only 42%, while for the city only 41%, according to the survey taken the first two weeks of June, with 53 companies responding.
Two factors influence the slow reopening of the hotels, explained Flora Ayub, executive director of the CCH: a large number of operators depend on foreign tourists and no profitability at 50% for small operators.
Many operators consider it essential to announce when the country will open international airports and under what conditions.
However, the Health Minister, Daniel Salas, pointed out this Tuesday, June 16, that it is not possible at this time to give a date for the reopening of the entry of foreign tourists.
“It depends on many conditions,” said Salas during mid-day presser on Tuesday, adding that “the reopening to flights will be very slow, very gradual, with great care and first with countries of origin where there are fewer cases of COVID-19 and where there are more controls on the pandemic.”
Will the United States, the single biggest market for tourism in Costa Rica be among the permitted countries?