Friday 20 May 2022

Crisis In Tourism And Hospitality Industries Of Costa Rica

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Cases of COVID-19 may be in decline across the globe but the wrath of the virus still exists in many forms in different countries. Costa Rica is no different and currently, the tourism and hospitality of the country are facing a tough time.

The hospitality industries of Costa Rica face a blow

With various restrictions for the tourists, social distancing amongst people, the windows of hotels are shuttered and the tourist industry is barely surviving. Most of the employees of the hotel are waiting for their next salary while sitting idle and waiting to deliver their services. However, it should be noted that not only the hospitality industry has been affected in the country.

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All the other industries which are interlinked with it like airlines, transport, security, and restaurants have met the same fate because of the trickle-down effect. What made the situation worse is the lack of money of the Costa Rican government which has run out and the government is now in no place to save the people from the bailouts and the rent supplements.

Further, the wage subsidies for the workers who were fired because of the pandemic have been exhausted.

Tourism companies face a new blow

There is also uncertainty in the tourism industry in the country since the high season for visitation has already ended. In the initial five months of this year, Costa Rica saw only 391,853 arrivals which are 55% down compared to 2019 and 73.5% less than the international arrivals in 2019.

Last year, many months also saw zero seasons which is making it difficult for the industries to sustain. Javier Pacheco, representative of Hotel Chamber has admitted that in the current scenario, no one is earning profit.

Even though the first five months of 2021 looked promising for the tourism industry, it was not as good as expected. Similar thoughts were reflected by Shirley Calvino, director of the National Tourism Chamber who said that the sector does not have enough finance to proceed.

How are Costa Ricans facing the new normal?

As the people started facing laid offs due to the slow economy, flexibility and the resilience of the people were tested. Many people started manufacturing goods which could be sold from home and this included furniture, meals, and clothes, to name a few, and have been parceling them through services like Delhivery.

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It was noticed that people loved to track their packages while being stuck at home and in such a scenario, services provided by companies similar to Shree Tirupati proved handy. Further, there was a ride in the number of street vendors and the number for the same almost tripled. A change in the focus of the services was also seen. For instance, restaurants shifted their focus from dine-in to deliveries and the people providing home services ballooned.

Costa Rican authorities are rooting on sustainable tourism for economic recovery

Tourism is the most affected industry due to COVID-19 and now the authorities of Costa Rica are hoping that sustainable tourism will help in the economic recovery of the country. By driving on the same lane, Costa Rican Banking Association organized a meeting titled “Sustainable tourism as a source of economic growth” to discuss how the tourism industry can benefit from sustainability. However, it was also noted that to continue in the path of sustainability in the tourism industry, financial assistance is also required because of COVID-19.

Why is the hospitality and tourism sector having a hard time in Costa Rica?

The hospitality and tourism sector is having a hard time in the country because Costa Rica is on the radar. For instance, America’s CDC has asked US citizens to avoid traveling to Costa Rica as it lies in the very high zone. Further, it has been notified that even people who are fully vaccinated should avoid traveling as they still have the risk of catching other variants of the virus.

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Also, Costa Rica has been added to the red list of UK cutting tourism even from the UK. The infection rate because of the COVID-19 virus was a record high in May in the country. The situation was so bad that patients had to line up for the hospital beds.

The Pan American Health Organisation on May 5 declared that the hospitals of the region are dangerously full. Even though the situation is getting better in Costa Rica, people are still reluctant to travel here which is affecting the tourism and the hospitality sector in a negative way.


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Carter Maddox
Carter is self-described as thirty-three-and-a-half years old and his thirty-three-and-a-half years birthday is always on March 3. Carter characteristically avoids pronouns, referring to himself in the third person (e.g. "Carter has a question" rather than, "I have a question"). One day [in 1984], Carter, raised himself up and from that day forward we could all read what Carter writes.

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