With 396 cases as of April 2nd, Costa Rica has a relatively low rate of COVID-19 infection that is increasing at a steady, but not exponential, pace. However, the economic impact for the small Central American country is larger due to a travel ban and lockdown that have brought international and local tourism to a halt.
Tourism is a central pillar of Costa Rica’s economy. The country is known for its stunning natural landscape and wildlife, features that bring thousands of tourists each year. In recent decades, Costa Rica has grown its ecotourism sector, an approach that has enabled the country to become a leader in conservation by supporting livelihoods and businesses in the tourism industry in parallel to protecting the environment.
However, tourism businesses are now suffering; most have closed until the Coronavirus pandemic has been contained. Over 290,000 people, around 13% of Costa Rica’s population, work in jobs generated by tourism. To support the industry, the government has embarked on communications campaigns encouraging citizens to explore their home country and support Costa Rican tourism once the current lockdown has been lifted.
ecoligo Sales Associate Paula Rodriguez tells us more.
The ban on international arrivals is set to be lifted on April 12th, but it may take some months before international tourism returns to normal levels. The disruption to the sector is purported to put around 8% of Costa Rica’s GDP at risk.
The government has announced a three-month moratorium on the payment of VAT, business income and customs duties, as well as a significant reduction in the monetary policy rate to lower credits. Measures are also proposed to reduce credits, make debt adjustment more flexible, establish a temporary tax default and improve insurance options.
Many of ecoligo’s customers in Costa Rica are in the tourism industry and report an impact to their business. In the video below Paul Valenciano, Managing Director of Casa Luna hotel in Costa Rica, explains how ecoligo’s solar solution helps his business to bring down costs (English subtitles available).
ecoligo is in close contact to each of its clients and is committed to supporting them through the impacts of the pandemic. A guarantee fund has been launched to safeguard crowdinvestors against any possible impact and enable the continued journey towards the global energy transition. Read more here.