My husband attended the meeting of Protur at the Gran Hotel April 27, which has been publicized in your newspaper several times.
He took the marketing director and service director of Toyota Rental Car to this meeting as our company orbitcostarica.com has had a partnership with Toyota for 15 years in the tourism area.
They listened for several hours to the objectives of ProTur and came away with the opinion that the majority of the time was spent by ProTur asking for financial forgiveness or special treatment from the government and others. Outside experts may consider many of the desired goals of this group do not meet constitutional requirements, but this is best answered by lawyers versed in the Sala IV.
Your readers can decide for themselves reading your previous articles.
What was very clear, however, was the small hotel industry insists it is in trouble using the word “emergency.” What was not clearly expressed was why this came to pass and a realistic method to change the vista for the future. Yes, everyone knows the dollar decline vs the colon has hurt hotels in this case big and small ones both. As a certified appraiser, I am constantly aware of the fact that incomes are usually in dollars and expenses are in colons when I am using a cash flow method to value commercial property. It is called a rock and a hard place.
This group may be just the right catalyst to change the way the government interacts with tourism since for many years a large number of tourism operators have not been happy with the Instituto Costarricense de Turismo (official tourism board). Our opinion is that this group would make a lot more progress concentrating on the demand side of the equation and coming up with concrete ideas to increase the marketplace so they can pay their bills.
People we know for many years in tourism have expressed the same opinion; they just do not believe the government will act fast enough in any financial way to help the tourism industry.
As we have written in other articles for amcostarica.com, the real growth in our country in recent times has been the huge increases in call centers, accounting centers, service centers.
When one of the major accounting firms in the U. S. shifts a highly paid auditor from the U.S. headquarters of one of the Fortune 500 to the forum, this makes up for some of that lost hotel revenue. Frankly, since we just rented an upscale condo to this very person. I expect he and his wife will spend enough money to alleviate some of the decrease in tourism.
This growth however is taking place in the Central Valley and does not help rural areas. ProTur used a phrase called macroeconomic and that is really what our country needs to understand to help lift all of us up on a more equal basis. ProTur deserves a serious hearing, so I hope the media will listen.
Angela Jiménez Rocha
Licensed architect & appraiser