Tourism operators get their meeting

The government said that a meeting Tuesday with tourism operators was not suspended but was just postponed until next Tuesday.

That was the report from Wilhelm von Breymann, the minister of Turismo, who said that the lack of a meeting Tuesday was because Helio Fallas, the minister of Hacienda, had an unforeseen situation to which he had to attend. Fallas also is the country’s first vice president.

Government officials clearly were upset with a statement released Tuesday by the Cámera Nacional de Turismo that warned of a possible court case.

Von Breymann said that he personally called Pablo Abarca, chamber president, to tell of the new meeting. Officials also were unhappy that the tourism chamber was airing its gripes on the radio.

There still is no promise that the complaints of tourism operators will be addressed. They were blindsided by a decree that imposed a 13 percent sales tax on a lot of their activities. The Ministerio de Hacienda wants back payment since 2006.

And there also is concern over what the industry sees as a brushoff by the new administration when the tourism sector became a subsector.

Even the Instituto Costarricense de Turismo is unhappy with this change done by the Ministerio de Planificación.  Von Breymann is expected to seek an amendment to the directive that contained this change.

The Cámara Costarricense de Hoteles said it also is supporting the appeal.

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