San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Costa Rica, Canada Seek To Boost Cooperation

Costa Rica and Canada are looking to help each other. In response to a visit of the Governor General of Canada last week, the Canadian government has expressed interest in creating a consulate in Costa Rica, and the National Tourism Chamber (CANATUR) of Costa Rica is looking to attract more Canadian tourists.

During Governor General Michaëlle Jean’s visit, she promised to take steps to remove visa complications for Costa Ricans hoping to move to Canada. Without a Canadian consulate in Costa Rica, Ticos currently have to send their documentation to the consulate in Guatemala in order for their visas to be approved.

“Part of my work here in Costa Rica involves simplifying the visa issues for Costa Ricans hoping to come to our country,” Jean said. “We are, after all, friends and we need to develop opportunities between the two countries.”

Costa Rican President Oscar Arias nodded in agreement and suggested a Canadian consulate should be opened in Costa Rica.

Other matters discussed by Arias and Canada’s highest-ranking representative included maximizing the trade relationship in light of the 2002 Canada-Costa Rica Free Trade Agreement, improving the flow of tourism between the two countries and working together on cultural and education

exchange projects.

This week, CANATUR defined how Costa Rica is looking to improve tourism between the two countries, indicating that there has been some exploration into establishing direct airline flights to and from Canada.

In his comments regarding the push for Canadian tourism, CANATUR President Juan Carlos Ramos said, “The year 2010 will be a period to make national tourism more convenient and to promote activities to attract tourists from destinations like Canada, which represents an opportunity to help us recover in the tourism sector.”

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