According to an article written in La Nacion. The tourism sector of Costa Rica took a drop of 8% in the year of 2009. For obvious reasons everyone expected a drop with the world wide recession and even the Swine Flew playing a roll in less tourist. In my personal opinion it could have been a lot worse and I think many people in the tourism industry that was not in extremely deep going into this year probably survived and is ready for this next year.
The number of tourist that entered the country were down 167,000 from 2008. In 2009 1.9million foreigners entered the country as compared to over 2 million in 2008.
I happen to think this was great for the country. I have been working in tourism down here for 9 years and there are plenty of people who have many more years than I working in tourism. The changes I have seen in the last 9 years are amazing and at such a fast speed that I can only imagine what this country looked like 20 years ago. The point that Im trying to make is that the people and natural beauties is what made this place the tourist destination it is. If you take the economic growth of the tourist section really fast it affects both the people and the natural beauties. When people find out they can make money in tourism and big money they tend to do it. Anyone knows that making big money fast can change some of your dailing habits and how you live your life. Im not saying the Costa Rican has turned into a country full of greedy snobs. All Im saying is that this is an excellent situation for the people here and extremely fast growth would not benefit anyone.
The second is the obvious that has been talked about for years and that is the more tourist, the more foreigners developing land, the more the natural beauties take a risk of being affected. Yes, 25% of Costa Rica is protected but every piece of bio-diversity on this planet is connected and just marking off your boundries does not make you a protecter of the environment. It is important that this developement be built very conscience of how their project will affect the nearby areas and its surroundings (air, soil, where materials come from, ect.)
So with this said, I feel the 8% drop in tourism is a chance for the industry to keep its feet on the ground and recieve this excellent blessing of opportunity of economic and natural wealth with a solid plan and mindset for the best future possible for everyone.