Tourism chamber urged more planning for highways

Reader Roy Whaley sent this photo of Route 142 between Nuevo Arenal and Tilarán near Lake Arenal. He said the popular tourist route has remained unrepaired for more than four years. 'The yellow ribbon was put in place only this morning after another foot or more of pavement crumbled,' he said Tuesday. Photo: Photo by Roy Whaley

The nation’s tourism chamber said that the country needs better planning particularly with road projects.

The comments from the Cámara Nacional de Turismo was directed at a current problem at an access road to the new Caldera highway in Atenas. But the comments by Mauricio Céspedes, the organization’s executive director, went further.

Céspedes said that the chamber applaudes the actions of the government to assume the costs of repairing this road link because it is important to tourism. However, he said that the project did not have sufficient planning and that Costa Rica now assumes the financial burden. Highways are the principal means of transport to tourist areas, he noted, and they play a role in the competitivity of the country for tourists. The government and competent authorities should be more rigorous with companies that do infrastructure projects and demand quality as well as responsibility for any eventualities, he said.

The chamber executive said that the money being spent on the Atenas link could be spent elsewhere.

Tropical Storm Tomas affected some 61 percent of the tourism operators in the country and the road network collapsed in some sections of the country causing substantial losses.

Some damage has not been repaired yet, the chamber said.

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