Costa Rican authorities reported last week that the country is committed sustainable tourism that allows economic recovery of the sector most affected by the Health crisiswhich will only be possible with the support of the national banking system.

During the Second Meeting of Ways to Recreation, entitled “Sustainable Tourism as a Source of Economic Growth”, organized by the Costa Rican Banking Association, experts on the topic raised the need for tourism to continue to reap the benefits of sustainability .

“Sustainable tourism as a source of economic growth is the way to recovery. We were successful, we did well, but to continue to achieve this we need financial support. The Covid-19 pandemic has come to stop the continued growth it has experienced. Costa Rican tourism, ”emphasized the President of the National Chamber of Tourism, Ruben Acón.

Benefits of sustainability include minimizing the impact of tourism on the natural and cultural environment, creating local jobs, enabling local businesses to be profitable, diversifying coastal economies, and preserving historical and cultural heritage.

Ideal for relaxing Costa Rican tourism

“Sustainable tourism as a business is ideal for the recovery of Costa Rican tourism and must be viewed as good business by banks (…) It is a segment with high income, educated people, active people who prefer a natural environment and that they care for interested in local gastronomy ”, said the Minister for Tourism, Gustavo Segura.

Tourism, one of the main engines of the economy, achieved $ 4 billion in foreign currency sales in 2019 after the entry of 3 million tourists. However, in 2020 and so far in 2021, the numbers have dropped dramatically due to mobility restrictions during the pandemic.

The tourism sector authorities asked the National Bank to take a strategic look with differentiated interest rates or even provide credit according to the flow of tourists entering the country and fees based on the seasonality of the high and low seasons.

Financial support to the tourism sector

The national banking system reported that it has provided unprecedented solutions and support to the sector since the pandemic began. Evidence of this is that the loan portfolio as of March 31, 2021 consisted of 74,000 operations for an amount of 619,677 million colones, both re-adjusted and unadjusted.

“The tourism sector is the main portfolio that has been financially relieved, followed by transportation and education (…) We had to provide financial aid to the sector in different ways depending on cash flow and needs. the debtor, ”affirmed the President of the Banking association, lvaro Saborío.

The company’s data shows that 77.6% of tourism businesses have received some adjustment or restructuring from the banks. Likewise, during the same period, 40% received a postponement of the interest payment, 38.6% a postponement of the repayment schedule and 20% an interest rate cut.

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