The Chambers of Tourism and Hotels came out in defense of the large tourism projects in Guanacaste, classified as “seven stars”, after representatives of the Broad Front launched questions about the impact these developments have on the province’s inhabitants.
In the first instance, the aspiring deputy, Suray Carrillo, after being consulted in a provincial debate on how to strengthen the Guanacaste airport, downplayed the importance of ensuring that Guanacastecans did not use the air terminal; while the candidate for the vice presidency of the Republic, Patricia Mora, attacked the hoteliers in the area and questioned the “seven-star projects.”
The political group tried to tone down the statements of their representatives, assuring that they maintain a commitment to the tourism development of the province and the strengthening of the airport; however, the demonstrations were not well received by businessmen.
The National Chamber of Tourism (Canatur) rejected the position of the supporters of the Broad Front, specifically regarding the questioning of the need to invest in the growth of the Daniel Oduber airport and the promotion of the development of large-scale tourism projects.
“These demonstrations have caused great indignation in the tourism sector and show a clear disconnection and ignorance regarding the benefit that tourism activity has brought to Guanacaste,” said Rubén Acón, president of Canatur.
In addition, he assured that it is incomprehensible that the investment in the Guanacaste airport, which has been the “spearhead” for the recovery of the tourism sector, is being questioned.
For the Chamber of Tourism of Guanacaste (Caturgua), the statements are unfortunate and it is counterintuitive that these tourism projects should not be promoted because there are situations of poverty in the province.
“Tourism is par excellence the economic activity that best distributes wealth. The tourist dollar reaches places where no other activity does. The productive chains of the tourism sector benefit all types of enterprises, from the smallest to the largest, and in all sectors”, said Caturgua.
In addition, they recalled the difficult situation that the province has been going through since the arrival of the pandemic, which reduced the number of international tourists and directly affected businesses and employment in the area.
Meanwhile, the Costa Rican Chamber of Hotels reproached for questioning possible tourist developments that want to settle in that province, since they are essential to promote the economic reactivation of the area.
“When we talk about a new hotel project, we must bear in mind that it generates direct employment, not only during its construction, but also during the operational phase. It should be noted that the more stars a hotel has, the greater the number of direct jobs generated per room; it is estimated that each room can create up to five places and all those produced indirectly are added to them; such as carriers, farmers, livestock, guides and the entire value chain,” said Javier Pacheco, president of the Costa Rican Chamber of Hotels.
Likewise, he regretted that it was an attempt to minimize the fundamental role that Guanacaste Airport (Daniel Oduber Quirós) has played in the reactivation of the province.
During 2021, the air terminal received more than 288 thousand tourists, this is equivalent to 64.7% of the tourists who entered in 2019 through this route; which has allowed the gradual recovery of employment for Guanacastecans.