The Costa Rica Tourism Board has unveiled a list of 16 health protocols to be implemented ahead of the reopening of some of the most popular hospitality areas in the country.
Working alongside representatives of the private sector, the measures relate to tourism companies in the following industries: accommodation; restaurants; aerial and aquatic recreational activities; travel agencies; tour operators; car rentals; meetings and conventions; tourism transport; adventure tourism; and spa and wellness tourism.
The easy-to-implement protocols establish guidelines on the use of face masks in public and private transport; the cleaning and disinfection of the equipment in tours and sports such as water sport activities; and how to apply social distancing rules when kayaking or white water rafting, for example – two of Costa Rica’s most popular water activities.
Costa Rica tourism minister, María Amalia Revelo Raventós, said: “These protocols are a great step for the country to start getting ready to welcome visitors again.
“Although the reactivation of the tourism sector will be gradual and linked to the recommendations of the ministry of health, having these 16 protocols in place will allow business to safely plan, prepare and get ready to reopen.”
The 16 protocols were agreed among by a committee of 68 professionals from the country’s both public and private sectors.
In Costa Rica, the public and the private sectors have been deeply engaged in tourism policy design and implementation since the 1980s.
Their cooperation frequently takes the form of co-governance, in which an autonomous institution in charge of policy for a particular economic sector is created, with a board of directors comprising representatives from both the public and the private sectors.
This way of working has proved to be very successful for the country, as tourism measures are agreed by a majority and no changes are introduced if a change of government takes place.
Gustavo Alvarado, director of tourism management at the Costa Rica Tourism Board, added: “These protocols are easy to implement as they were designed to generate the lowest economic cost to those companies who have struggled the most during the pandemic.”
Costa Rica received 78,562 visitors from the UK in 2019.