QCOSTARICA – The limited political strength of the current Minister of the Tourism, Wilhelm von Breymann, in the cabinet and government agencies, is preventing tourism industry demands from being addressed and priority given to the sector in the government’s strategy.
Representatives from the tourism industry argue that they have been given a back seat because they are not given the necessary priority in government policies.
The sector is also complaining about lack of investment in tourism infrastructure, excessive paperwork and permits and the enforcement of laws discouraging economic activity in the sector.
Pablo Abarca, President of the National Chamber of Tourism – Cámara Nacional de Turismo (Canatur), told Nacion.com that “… Von Breymann had little presence in the defense of the sector against the proposal to impose new taxes and the conflict, currently underway, against the Ministry of Finance (Ministerio de Hacienda) which intends to charge a fine for car rental companies.
Furthermore, the sector had to wait eight months for the first meeting of the regulatory commission of the tourism sector, the convening of which is the responsibility of the government. ”
Meanwhile, Gustavo Araya, president of the Costa Rican Chamber of Hotels – Costarricense de Hoteles (CCH) – added “… The lack of political experience of the minister has cost us very dearly in this case. We have been very critical of the management and, above all, lack of commitment from other institutions regarding the Costa Rican Tourism Institute. Among the entities are the Ministries of Finance, Public Works and Transport (MOPT) and Health (Salud) and as well as municipalities. ”
For his part, the minister said he has extensive experience in tourism, starting as a guide and ended up having three tour companies.
He acknowledged that perhaps he lacks political experience and should have more presence in the media.
According to Von Breymann, Costa Rica will soon attract more airlines, have its convention center and has concreted his reputation during his tenure.