Costa Rica opens up shop for tourists from Mexico

Tourists ride horses in Cahuita beach, Limon, Costa Rica, on September 27, 2019. - Costa Rica received the 2019 United Nations Champions of the Earth award for its work on conservation and against climate change and decarbonization. (Photo by Ezequiel BECERRA / AFP) (Photo credit should read EZEQUIEL BECERRA/AFP via Getty Images)
Tourists ride horses in Cahuita beach, Limon, Costa Rica. Photo: Getty Images

Hungry to rebuild an essential part of its economy, Costa Rica welcomes back Mexican tourists Oct. 1.

The government will also welcome tourists from two U.S. states and Jamaica, reported the Tico Times. Sending more than 90,000 tourists a year, Mexico is Costa Rica’s third-largest tourism market, behind the United States and Canada.

It is also the only country to allow Americans entry depending on their state of origin.

Tourists will have to ace a coronavirus test before arriving, said Tourism Minister Gustavo Segura.

“The provision is due to the opening in international tourism, gradual, sustained and with controlled risk that we have been managing to reactivate the country’s economy and boost the tourism sector,” Segura said at a press conference.

Costa Rica closed its borders to foreigners in March, but reopened tourism Aug. 1 to the European Union, the United Kingdom and Canada. Later, some Asian countries, Australia, New Zealand and Uruguay were added. Starting in September, U.S. citizens began arriving from Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, New York, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Vermont and Virginia, plus the District of Columbia. On Sept. 15, Arizona, Colorado, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Washington and Wyoming travelers joined them, and as of October 1, Californians and Ohioans can head to Costa Rica, too.

Segura admitted that the opening to Europe has had a limited reaction with only four weekly flights that weren’t always full, so the Costa Rican tourism sector hopes to recover with a greater arrival of North Americans, Segura was reported as saying.

“The tourism sector continues in a delicate situation,” Segura said.

Before the pandemic, Costa Rica received more than 3 million foreign tourists annually, a significant contribution to the country’s employment rate and GDP.

Sources: Tico Times, AFAR

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