Colon-dollar exchange rate keeps this tourist away

I see in today’s A.M. Costa Rica that the dollar has again fallen below 500 colons.

I noted also that there is a story projecting, as usual, improved tourism visitation, but detailing how poorly the tourism industry performed in the past year.

I was about to purchase my tickets and book my hotel rooms for one of my usual quarterly two-week visits to Costa Rica, but after seeing the current exchange rates, I believe I will take my January vacation in Panamá instead.

I’ve seen a steady decline in the value of my tourist dollars in Costa Rica in the past couple of years. Yes, I know, the dollar has struggled elsewhere also. But it seems that in Costa Rica there are these volatile changes that aren’t fully explainable, except perhaps as greed by Costa Rican banks and financial regulators.

I do love Costa Rica and have many Tico friends and acquaintances. But Costa Rica isn’t the bargain that it once was as a tourist destination. Besides the devastating impact of the global recession in the past 18 or 20 months, the devaluation of the dollar in Costa Rica is probably another significant factor in why fewer North American tourists are visiting the land of Pura Vida. More and more, Costa Rica is becoming the land of “Pura Greed-a.”

Terrell Hinton
Tulsa, Oklahoma

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