Crumbling infrastructure is holding back tourism, says National Liberation Party

January 22, 2014
3 Comments

Representatives from Costa Rica’s five main political parties sparred during an economic roundtable organized by the Costa Rican-American Chamber of Commerce at the Hotel Real InterContinental in Escazú on Tuesday.

Antonio Álvarez Desanti, campaign chief for the ruling National Liberation Party, said the poor state of Costa Rica’s infrastructure, especially its roads, limits the country’s tourism potential.

“As long as we have these [infrastructure] conditions, we’re going to be holding back tourism in this country,” he said.

“We have places where tourists don’t go because rental car agencies don’t want their vehicles driving there,” he added, mentioning Monteverde, in the Tilarán Mountains in north-central Costa Rica, as an example.

Álvarez, a PLN candidate for San José lawmaker, said Costa Rica also must address its high cost of living for tourists as well as locals.

“We’re very proud of our natural wonders and colonial areas, but tourists count their costs,” Álvarez said, noting the high price of airplane flights and lodging here.

The PLN candidate said that an Araya administration would support a currency policy that keeps the U.S. dollar above the Costa Rican colón’s lower band limit so that foreign tourists’ dollars go farther here, making the country more attractive for visitors.

Libertarian Movement Party vice presidential candidate Thelmo Vargas agreed that infrastructure investment was key to keep Costa Rica as a top-tier tourist destination.

Vargas also lashed out at the Broad Front Party’s proposed tax increases on luxury properties, arguing that the taxes would be passed on to tourists staying at luxury resorts and make the country less attractive for foreign visitors.

Sergio Reuben, economic coordinator for the Broad Front Party, spoke broadly about protecting workers’ rights while also trying to attract foreign visitors, but did not offer specific policies.

“We support an international brand for Costa Rica that is ecologically stable and respects the rights of workers and human rights. We support a national brand that reflects our traditions of solidarity,” Reuben said.

The Costa Rican Tourism Board reported that a record-breaking 2.4 million tourists visited the Central American country in 2013.

Tourism accounted for 5 percent of Costa Rica’s gross domestic product, according to a September 2013 statement from the National Tourism Chamber.

You may be interested

Adaptive surfing, part II: The story of Dean Bushby
sports
124 views
sports
124 views

Adaptive surfing, part II: The story of Dean Bushby

Ellen Zoe Golden - May 22, 2018

A three-part look at adaptive surfing in Costa Rica. Read Part I here to learn how a Central Pacific coach is…

Costa Rica launches Pride Connection network
Human rights
152 views
Human rights
152 views

Costa Rica launches Pride Connection network

Elizabeth Lang - May 22, 2018

As Costa Rica continues to grapple with the disagreements about marriage equality and gender identity that dominated the second round…

Costa Rica at a glance: top news from the past week
The Alvarado Administration
187 views
The Alvarado Administration
187 views

Costa Rica at a glance: top news from the past week

The Tico Times - May 21, 2018

Newly inaugurated Costa Rican President Carlos Alvarado is closing in on two weeks on the job. Here are some of…