The deputy president of the Tourism Commission, Carmen Chan requested that an investigation is opened on the management and operation of the “Parque Manuel Antonio”. This is the result of a series of complaints that have transcended into the operation of the park, this despite having already been approved a 25 million dollars loan destined to improve all the national natural protected areas.
The legislator points out that the situation of the park is alarming and its state of abandonment, including the neglect of the sanitary services maintenance, coupled with the long lines at the entrance and the agglomeration of street vendors in the vicinities.
The investigation requested seeks to resolve this situation as soon as possible, since there is a widespread concern in all the tourist sector and also the community of Quepos about the causes that lead to this inaction and inefficiency by part of the authorities, seriously affecting the tourism sector, that is the fundamental axis of our economy in the current moments.
It is a generalized opinion among the parties involved, not to allow, that due to inefficiency and lack of competence of several institutions, substantial revenues that derive from park attendance to one of the greatest tourist attraction in the country, be lost because of the Park suffering a series of administrative, environmental and Public Health deficiencies.
The deputy of the New Republic Party, indicated that these natural areas contribute significant income to the public coffers and promote the good image of the country, but nevertheless the State does not undertake public actions or make use of the institutional instruments available, bringing as a consequence that in recent years the Parque Manuel Antonio has been experiencing a series of serious problems linked to tourism services.
Among the most serious problems are those generated by street sales and the poor treatment of wastewater, also the nonexistence of safe and suitable deposits for the dumping of trash and sewage, which will eventually cause irreversible environmental impacts throughout the protected area.
The deputy assured that street vendors create insecurity, violence, and distribution of drugs, seriously endangering both national and foreign tourists. In addition, it is mentioned that all tourists are bothered by the lack of sanitary services, the long lines to be able to enter in addition to the lack of trained tour guides.
“It is urgent to carry out a coordinated action plan between public institutions such as the Minae, the Ministry of Security, the Ministry of Health, and the local Municipality, with the important participation of private companies,” said the legislator, affirming that “tourism in Costa Rica must be especially motivated by the conservation of biodiversity and the quality of the services offered.”
It is bizarre for the country that, although in the coastal areas, where a thriving tourism activity is developing, there exist serious problems such as marginality, citizen insecurity, deficiency in the provision of goods and services, the absence of jobs and economic benefits for the local inhabitants, and what’s worse than such situation does not tend to improve but quite the opposite.
Deputy Chan makes a strong call to the competent authorities of the National Government, to coordinate and implement urgent actions around the community of Quepos and Manuel Antonio, and thus solve the existing problems.
Stating that “all this is for the sake of Costa Rica not losing its well-earned image and the country brand, internationally, for which so much has been invested and worked striving towards the welfare of present and future generations.