Official U.K. travel website warns about increase in missing tourists in Costa Rica

May 30, 2011

The United Kingdom government published an official warning on its travel advice page informing visitors about the increasing number of missing people in Costa Rica.

A press release explained that the addition to the travel website came after David Dixon sent a letter to British Prime Minister David Cameron asking for help in solving the disappearance of his brother, Michael Dixon, who went missing in Costa Rica in 2009. (Read the letter to the prime minister here.)

The travel advice site now includes “Incidents of violent crime against tourists are increasing” in Costa Rica. Later on it, it reads “Eight foreign nationals (including one British national) have gone missing in the last two years, with some related to criminal activity.” The page also warns tourists to beware of gang muggings and armed robberies in broad daylight as “there has also been an increase in incidents of violent crime against tourists.”
 
The Dixon family is asking for the British government’s intervention to make sure the Metropolitan Police Authority reviews the case and works with Costa Rican authorities to find Michael Dixon.

On Oct. 18, 2009, Michael Dixon vanished after leaving his hotel room in Tamarindo, on the northern Pacific coast.

U.K. Minister of State Jeremy Browne said in a reply to the Dixons’ letter on May 12: “Violent crime against tourists is increasing. The recent increase in the number of foreign nationals missing in Costa Rica is also worrying.”

David Dixon applauded the changes on the U.K. travel website in the press release.

Dixon wrote of Costa Rica: “While it is a beautiful country, travelers need to be aware of the increasing number of tourist disappearances and exercise a much greater degree of caution.”

In the most recent incident of missing tourists, a French couple disappeared in Quepos, on the central Pacific coast, in mid-April.

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