While the Costa Rican National Soccer Team will seek in Qatar to surprise, as it did in Brazil 2014, and overcome an extremely difficult group, the government authorities also have their own objectives.
The World Cup that will begin on November 20th is a perfect opportunity to promote Costa Rica as a tourist destination in a country and an area of the world where perhaps not much is known. Also, it will seek to generate interest in investing in Costa Rican land.
“Without a doubt, an event like the World Cup in Qatar is an opportunity for Costa Rica to be known even more worldwide,” said Vice Foreign Minister Christian Guillermet.
This past Tuesday the Ministry of Foreign Affairs gave the National Team the recognition as Representative of the Costa Rican Sports Diplomacy. Also, they were declared ambassadors of the country brand “Essential Costa Rica“.
“We work very closely with Foreign Trade (Comex), Procomer and the ICT. We want to position Costa Rica as a good place for investment, a place of peace, good for tourism”, said Guillermet. “It is a joint effort that has been done to see what are the niches that we can take advantage of,” he added.
The Costa Rican authorities see the World Cup as a valuable opportunity for Costa Rica to expose its name in markets that are not usual. “This is a fabulous opportunity for Costa Rican tourism, for our economy, since it is taking place in an area where we are not well known,” said the vice chancellor.
On Qatari soil the name of the country is already being exposed. There are already giant billboards with the image of Keylor Navas, as well as a sign with the name of Costa Rica on the Corniche, a seaside promenade in Doha.
In addition, a bench was built with the Costa Rican flag and the image of various buildings, such as the Basilica of Los Angeles, which will be exhibited at the World Cup Fan Fest.
“Our ambassador there (Mariano Segura) and the people from ICT and Procomer have prepared some activities, a lot to highlight the national colors and to get to know a little more about Costa Rican culture.”
Costa Rica already shows off its colors in Qatar
From the Costa Rican Tourism Institute (ICT) the plan for November and December is clear and is not only limited to Qatar. Carolina Trejos, director of marketing for the institution, pointed out that the promotion of Costa Rica as a tourist destination will have important activities in England, Germany and Spain.
These last two countries are rivals in the World Cup, so the situation of the matches will be used to generate campaigns, “We are taking advantage not only of the National Team playing the World Cup; From the ICT to promote Costa Rica as a tourist destination we are doing various activities in three strategic markets in Europe; England, Spain and Germany”, explained Trejos.
“In Germany in a large network of restaurants and in Spain taking advantage of several radio, television and “fan zone” forums to promote Costa Rica as a tourist destination,” he added.
The Minister of Tourism, William Fernández, pointed out that the Sele’s participation in the World Cup will be key for the country. “It is going to give Costa Rica exposure like it has never had before. Imagine the showcase that we are going to have worldwide”, he concluded.