Mid-year school vacation might be boon to tourism

Public schools and many private schools will be on vacation in less than two weeks, and tourism operators are ready to receive them.

The mid-year vacation is not high season or is it Semana Santa, but there is a significant flow of tourists with their young charges in tow. Many parents arrange their own schedules so that they are free during the school vacation.  This year it is from July 1 to July 12.

Tourism operators, especially those in the price range that attracts national visitors, are expected to offer promotional packages. Attracting Costa Ricans is a bit of a hard sell because nearly everyone has a family member with a home at the beach or the mountains. And like during Semana Santa, some families just set up tents at the beach.

Meanwhile, many institutions are planning special activities for those youngsters who stay at home. The Museo de los Niños in San José said Monday that it would offer two week-long sessions of a program called Campamento Safari. The emphasis will be on the protection of animals and the environment. Older youngsters will be able to camp out on night at the museum. There is a fee.

Other museums and private clubs are expected to also present programs geared to youngsters.

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