Proponents of a proposed colegio of professionals in tourism presented their case for creation of the entity to lawmakers Thursday.
Under the proposed law, membership in the colegio would be obligatory for anyone in the tourism business, according to the text of the bill, No. 18.390. That is in Chapter 2, Article 39. Membership also would be obligatory for anyone holding a public job related to tourism. Appearing Thursday were Erasmo Rojas, legal adviser to the Asociación Costarricense de Profesionales en Turismo, and Massi Devoto, president of the association.
The bill, if approved, would convert the association into the colegio which would then receive money from members. Despite the name that sounds like college in English, a colegio is an organization of professionals, such as lawyers or physicians.
The bill would grandfather into the new colegio current members of the association. New members would have to have degrees in some field of tourism. The summary of the bill said that the tourism industry has matured sufficiently to qualify for a colegio.
Rojas told the legislative committee on tourism that the most important need is that professionals in tourism enter the colegio arrangement for protection of their income and to seek excellence for one of the biggest moneymakers for the country.
The committee was told that there are plenty of tourism university graduates now and they do not have a colegio to join.The Asociación Costarricense de Profesionales en Turismo is the organization that puts on ExpoTur each May to attract tourism buyers to the country.
The current bill does not fully describe what job titles would obligate membership in the proposed colegio. Nor does it specify a penalty for not belonging to the colegio. Others who try to practice restricted occupations here, such as dentistry or medicine, face criminal charges.