Costa Rican Presidental Candidates Make Promises to the Tourism Industry

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    The Costa Rica News (TCRN) – The main presidential candidates promised Costa Rica local tourism entrepreneurs that they will take a series of measures to ensure that the Central American country receives three million visitors annually.

    Tourism is one of the main economic activities in Costa Rica, and currently receives over two million tourists a year, but the National Chamber of Tourism (Canatur) aims to increase that number to three million over the next ten years.

    Canatur today invited the leading candidates to a meeting to explain the situations and needs of the sector, and get commitments from whoever wins the elections in February.

    Entrepreneurs asked the candidates to make tourism a “state policy” and improve the biggest problems for the sector such as poor infrastructure, high electricity prices, social insecurity, and lack of epicurean identity.

    The meeting was attended by Luis Guillermo Solis of the Citizens Action Party (PAC), Rodolfo Piza of the Unidad Social Cristiana (PUSC), and Otto Guevara of the Libertarian Movement (ML).

    Johnny Araya, who is leading the polls, did not attend the meeting but sent a representative on his behalf.

    Solis stressed the urgent need to improve the road infrastructure in Costa Rica in order to increase the number of visitors and said that improving this aspect will be a priority in the event of becoming president.

    He highlighted the importance of medical tourism and adventure to reach the goal of three million tourists a year.

    Meanwhile, Guevara said that Costa Rica should expect to receive the same number of tourists to its population, of approximately 4.5 million people.

    For Guevara, the country should break the monopoly on electricity in order to reduce costs and should provide more facilities to tourism entrepreneurs.

    The representative of Araya, Walter Coto, said his party looks to move from $4.4 million dollars in foreign exchange generated by tourism at this time in Costa Rica to $6.4 million by 2017.  (EFE)

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