Postpone Your Trip to Costa Rica
The global Coronavirus pandemic has left most of us frightened by the uncertainty of a future in travel. But there is one thing we know for certain- our beloved Costa Rica is facing a serious collapse in its tourism industry. And this impact may last much longer than the Coronavirus itself.
Tourism is a vital part of the economic, social, and cultural livelihood of Costa Rica. According to research from Globalsecurity.org, tourism in Costa Rica contributes to “7% of the country’s gross domestic product and generates around 13% of direct and indirect employment”. This may seem like a small number, but that 7% accounts for more than 1.7 billion U.S dollars a year. Needless to say, Costa Rica and many other developing countries are suffering from the current government-mandated travel ban.
In a country of only 5 million inhabitants, about 500,000 people have found themselves recently without a job or consistent income. It comes as no surprise that a large number of unemployed come from the tourism industry.
But beyond an economic standpoint, the tourism industry aids the rest of the country in its social aspects. For example, the taxes that a hotel pays goes straight to the local government, directly improving infrastructure, public parks, recycling programs, financial aid programs, security, and more. The Coronavirus is impacting the tourism industry head-on, but indirectly affecting the rest of the communities in Costa Rica. Everything is connected.
The tourism industry in Costa Rica has also an important impact on the environmental segment. Costa Rica is undoubtedly a beautiful country filled with impressive wildlife, active volcanoes, pristine rivers and oceans, and one of the friendliest people in the world. Pura Vida is the slogan, and it is more than fitting to describe what this country has to offer. Costa Rica contains 5% of the entire world’s biodiversity. This fact is deeply rooted in the Tico culture, as most inhabitants are passionate about protecting this biodiversity. When you visit any of Costa Rica’s natural treasures, you are most likely to receive an educational experience. Your tour guide may give you facts that change your way of thinking around the environment. Tourism, when done right, is an unofficial term for education. The Costa Rican people pride themselves on conservation and sustainable travel..ecotourism they call it.
To the 3 million travelers who were supposed to visit Costa Rica in 2020 and had to cancel, we encourage you to postpone your trip. For the local friend who is struggling to make rent. For the school children desperately in need of a new playground, for the bus driver with nowhere to go, and for you, the enthusiastic traveler who would have learned firsthand what makes Costa Rica so unique and special.
We will be waiting for you with open arms, and a Pura Vida smile.
Author: Delphine Zebouloun
Delphine is a lover of nature and the outdoors. It’s no wonder she moved to Costa Rica 6 years ago. She has over 8 years of experience in the tourism industry, focusing on sustainable and community-based travel. When Delphine isn’t working, you can find her surfing in Guanacaste, hiking in Heredia or making arepas with la suegra.