Record low tourism numbers reported in areas under emergency alert
Heavy rains and flooding that caused a national emergency in Costa Rica also brought on record-low tourism numbers for Caribbean and Central Valley cantons for the month of June. The National Tourism Chamber (CANATUR) reported Friday that Sarapiquí, Limón, and Tortuguero were among those hit hardest with cancellations.
In Sarapiquí alone, losses totaling 180 million colones, or roughly $337,500 dollars, were reported. Eighty percent of reservations were canceled in the canton, famous for adventure-style tourism like canopy and rafting tours. The chamber’s report says limited road access and flooding rivers were the reason Sarapiquí saw the worst numbers of any canton since heavy rains began June 20.
Tortuguero on the Caribbean coast also suffered a historically bad period as Route 32’s consistent closures restricted access to the canton. The five-day closure of the Río Chirripó/Sucio route made travel to Tortuguero impossible from Sarapiquí.
As reported Tuesday, tourism operators in Caribbean hotbeds like Puerto Viejo had suffered sizable losses in reservations and revenue in the past weeks. Though they remain optimistic that numbers will go back to evening out once heavy rains subside, the tourism chamber reports it was a record-low month for the area.
“Business owners in Limón agreed that this was the worst June in history for tourism because of so much rain and so little visitation,” the chamber’s statement said.
Half of the reservations in Limón were canceled in the past three weeks, largely due to the problems with Route 32, which connects the Central Valley to the Caribbean.
According to the chamber’s report, road closures also caused the greatest hindrance to tourism in Turrialba as well. Damages to roads, sewers and buildings will cost the canton nearly $70,000, the chamber’s figures showed.
Fortunately rains slowed down Thursday night and early Friday morning in the affected areas, and the National Emergency Commission (CNE) lowered its emergency red alerts to yellow in the Caribbean, Sarapiquí, and Turriabla.
You may be interested
In Costa Rica, friends didn’t fight over politics; those days are goneÁlvaro Murillo - March 21, 2018
Just 14 years ago, Costa Rica was the Latin American countries where people were least willing to argue with their…
Immigration to charge $100 per month for overstaying visa in Costa RicaThe Tico Times - March 20, 2018
Starting on April 20, foreign visitors to Costa Rica who overstay their visa will be charged a fee when they…
Candidates face off at Grupo Extra debate in Costa RicaThe Tico Times - March 19, 2018
Fabricio Alvarado of the National Restoration Party (PRN), left, listens as Carlos Alvarado of the Citizen Action Party (PAC) speaks…