Although in 2019 the arrival of tourists to Costa Rica increased 4% compared to 2018, the sector continues to face complex procedures to open a new business and the high costs of basic services.
Data from the Dirección General de Migración y Extranjería (DGME) – immigration service – reveals that between 2018 and 2019 the number of foreign visitors to the country grew by 122,000, from 3.01 million to 3.14 million.
The country’s figures are encouraging, but there are obstacles preventing businessmen in the sector from being more competitive.
Sary Valverde, president of the Cámara Nacional de Turismo (Canatur) – National Chamber of Tourism (Canatur), told Elobservador.cr that “… tourism and accommodation operators in the country continue to face complex procedures to get business off the ground. In some institutions we have to do a lot of paperwork to get a business up and running.”
Valverde added that “… that the cost of electricity and water distribution in the country are part of the factors that affect the competitiveness of tourism.”
Improving security is another need identified.