QCOSTARICA – The Golfito port terminal was renovated pending the reactivation of cruise activity in the Pacific, after almost 10 months of impact on the industry due to the coronavirus pandemic.
These works, planned before the health emergency by the Costa Rican Institute of Pacific Ports (Incop), contemplate an investment of ¢1.2 billion, for the construction of the area for cruise passengers.
A floating platform was also installed and urgent maintenance was given to the piles that support the structure, as well as other ancillary works.
According to the executive president of Incop, Juan Ramón Rivera, the objective of this infrastructure is to promote tourist visits in the southern area.
“To go from exclusively providing port services with low community relations to being promoters of regional development, is the objective of the project,” said Rivera.
Currently, the major cruise liner companies have their activities suspended due to the global pandemic, however, works will begin to provide benefits to tourists, once trips on the Pacific cruise are reactivated..
Celebrity Cruises, one of the most important cruise liners for our country, recently stated: “As we continue to work with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC in the United States) and government authorities around the world toward the shared goal of safely returning to the cruise ship, Celebrity Cruises will extend the suspension of some voyages.
“This includes all global trips between January 1 and February 28, 2021, along with the rest of the Winter 2021 program trips through South America until April 7, 2021.”
Norwegian Cruise Line also extended its travel suspension until February 28.
“Despite this new delay, we remain optimistic and hope to resume our cruise operations in the very near future,” said Norwegian.
In the pre-pandemic reality, basically the port received and dispatched vessels that transport palm oil exports that are harvested in the south of the country.
In addition to some cruises were arriving, but very few, due to the little promotion of the region to international cruise lines.
The idea is that the infrastructure is adequate to receive RoRo (ROLL-ON/ROLL-OFF) type vessels, that is, ships that import cars.
Thus, shipping companies could see the Golfito terminal as an alternative to Caldera, to reduce waiting times for vessels in that port, this in addition to adapting the terminal to reactivate and promote the arrival of cruise ships with adequate facilities to receive tourists.
The Costa Rican hospitality firm, Enjoy Group, was one of the companies that rescued the Golfito marina from abandonment after a North American company left the country and the tourism project in disuse.
The Marina Bahía Golfito resumed operations last August, despite being affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
“Golfito represents an opportunity like few others in Costa Rica. When people discover what Golfito really is, both national and foreign tourists will be very attracted. In addition, it has an airport that has just been remodeled, four national parks and a lot of wildlife,” Rubén Pacheco, president of the investment group, said ast February.