Costa Rican authorities reported this past week that the country is committed to sustainable tourism that allows the economic recovery of the sector, the one most affected by the health crisis, which will only be possible with the support of the national bank system.
During the II Meeting of Paths to Recovery entitled “Sustainable tourism as a source of economic growth”, organized by the Costa Rican Banking Association, experts on the subject addressed the need for tourism to continue taking advantage of the benefits of sustainability.
“Sustainable tourism as a source of economic growth is the path to recovery. We have been successful, we have done well, but to continue achieving it we require financial support. The COVID-19 Pandemic has come to stop the sustained growth that it had been experiencing. Costa Rican tourism”, highlighted the President of the National Chamber of Tourism, Ruben Acón.
Among the benefits of sustainability are minimizing the impacts of tourism on the natural and cultural environment, generating local employment, allowing profitability in local companies, diversifying the economy in coastal areas and preserving both historical and cultural heritage.
Ideal for recovering Costa Rican tourism
“Sustainable tourism as a business is ideal for recovering Costa Rican tourism and it is something that banks have to see as a good business (…) It is a segment with a high level of income, educated people, active people who prefer natural environments and that they are interested in the local gastronomy,” said the Minister of Tourism, Gustavo Segura.
Tourism, one of the main engines of the economy, generated revenues of $ 4 billion in foreign currency in 2019 after the entry of 3 million tourists. However, in 2020 and so far in 2021, the figures have fallen dramatically due to restrictions on mobility during the pandemic.
The authorities of the tourism sector asked the national bank to give a strategic look, with differentiated rates, or even to provide credits according to the flow of tourists that enter the country and fees based on the seasonality of high and low season.
Financial Support To The Tourism Sector
The National Banking System reported that since the beginning of the Pandemic it has provided unprecedented solutions and support to the sector. Proof of this is that as of March 31, 2021, the loan portfolio consisted of 74,000 operations for an amount of 619,677 million colones, both readjusted and without readjustment.
“The tourism sector is the main portfolio that has had financial relief, followed by transportation and then education (…) We have had to give financial relief aid to the sector in multiple ways, depending on cash flows and needs. of the debtors “, affirmed the president of the Banking Association, lvaro Saborío.
Data from the entity indicate that 77.6% of tourism companies had received some readjustment or restructuring by the banks. Likewise, 40% received a postponement in the payment of interest, 38.6% reported a postponement of the amortization schedule and 20% obtained a reduction in the interest rate, in the same period.