QCOSTARICA – Promoting the nautical industry is the objective of the recently signed “Ley de Impulso a las Marinas Turísticas y el Desarrollo Costero” (Law for the Promotion of Tourist Marinas and Coastal Development), which will also allow foreign vessels to hire Costa Rican captains and sailors to develop commercial activities in national waters.
Said legislation modernizes the conditions in which marinas operate and broadens the scope of the “Ley de Concesión y Operación de Marinas y Atracaderos Turísticos” (Law on the Concession and Operation of Marinas and Tourist Berths).
In addition, it authorizes foreign flag vessels and their crew to carry out commercial activities related to water transport, recreation, and tourism within the waters of the national territory.
It also enables marine concessionaires and their subsidiaries to grant the concession as collateral in order to access financing.
“This legal reform introduces new characteristics for marina concessionaires and for foreign vessels that dock in their spaces, thereby facilitating and strengthening the dynamics of nautical tourism in Costa Rica, a segment that attracts visitors with high purchasing power. and it has an enormous impact on the generation of employment in the coastal communities of the country,” said Costa Rica’s President Carlos Alvarado.
Costa Rica now can compete with destinations in Europe and the Caribbean to attract nautical tourism.
Currently, the country allows the entry of tourists on yachts and sailboats through the Bahía Golfito, Los Sueños (Herradura), Pez Vela (Quepos), Banana Bay (north of Golfito and Papagayo (Guanacaste) marinas.
Together they add 800 berths and serve dozens of national and foreign vessels per month, the majority from the United States, which before the pandemic amounted to the arrival of 550 boats per month.
These marinas have the capacity to directly employ 2,500 people and generate a significant number of indirect jobs associated with ship services and tourism.