The Costa Rican Tourism Institute (ICT) and the Ministry of Environment and Energy (MINAE) signed a framework agreement last Friday at the Presidential House that will allocate US$1.5 million annually for the improvement of infrastructure in National Parks, Life Refuges, and other Wilderness Protected Areas (ASP). This investment program aims to develop new options for the growth and diversification of tourism products in ASP, adequately conditioning them for the visitation of national and foreign tourists.
Thus, the visitation and social and economic development of new communities with wild areas of enormous potential will be channeled, but that require investment for development, strengthening of infrastructure, signage, equipment, as well as the acquisition of goods and services of a tourist nature. “The Protected Wilderness Areas are attractions of great importance for the country, the cutting-edge management in terms of conservation in the world complements the country brand, and a motivator to visit our best travel prospects, who have a natural affinity for environmental issues and tourism sustainability”, said Minister of Tourism, William Rodríguez.
Continue promoting sustainable tourism
National Parks, Wildlife Refuges, Marine Areas, among other categories of environmental protection cover more than 28.1% of the terrestrial and marine national territory. They constitute part of the image of the destination and of the high-ranking attractions that support the design of tourism products that are marketed in the country. “We thank the ICT for the support with these resources. Investment in National Parks is an urgent need to continue promoting sustainable tourism hand in hand with strengthening the country’s goals of biodiversity conservation and the fight against climate change. Our Protected Wilderness Areas are national bulwark that deserve all possible strengthening and this administration is aware of this”, said the Minister of Environment and Energy, Franz Tattenbach Capra.
The ICT and MINAE will jointly determine the needs and priorities of mutual interest. They undertake to coordinate and plan decision-making for the execution of actions, programs and projects that allow the execution of the agreement. MINAE, through the National System of Conservation Areas (SINAC), will identify, select and prioritize the necessary investments in the ASPs. With this information, an investment program will be prepared and sent to the ICT, with the works, goods and tourism services in the prioritized ASPs.
The ICT, in addition to budgeting US$1.5 million per year, will contract the works, goods, and services for the implementation of the investment program submitted by SINAC and will donate the works, goods, and services to SINAC once completed. This agreement is valid for 3 years and can be extended for a period of the same duration, for a maximum of 6 years.