Unfavorable news reports seem to have remained in the country this year

Unfavorable news stories seem to have stayed in Costa Rica.

Expats in the tourism business were worried that the 33-day kidnapping of Ryan Piercy would give the country a black eye. So far the story appears to have remained a local one because an Internet search does not show that publications outside the country picked up the running story.

Piercy is Canadian and general manager of the Association of Residents.

Judicial investigators and the family made few comments on the case until Piercy returned home Sunday, and most news outlets treaded carefully for fear of disrupting the investigation.

In fact, there has been few negative stories in the last two months that might change the destination for a tourist.

Compared to a country like Venezuela that lurches toward civil war, Costa Rica is, well, tranquil.

Over the weekend a report of a rant by the Mayor of Talamanca made the jump from the English-language press to Spanish news outlets. The mayor, Melvin Cordero Cordero, basically told a couple of expats they should leave town instead of making complaints about environmental faults.

Telling foreigners to leave the canton and perhaps the country is the kind of remark that could be picked up by U.S. and Canadian news sources. Tourism operators should be happy that this does not seem to have happened.

In the past murders of young tourists on the Caribbean coast and in southern Costa Rica quickly made international news.
For a time the string of missing tourists, mostly in Guanacaste, appeared to be the type of news story that would affect tourism. But the cases were so far apart in time and reasonable explanations of non-criminal possibilities blunted the impact.

That most recent missing tourist, Cody Dial, vanished in July 2014. He was believed to be going solo through the rugged Parque Nacional Corcovado, a report that suggests his disappearance was related to nature.

There has been no evidence to support alternate theories that might affect tourism.

And as the spring break tourism season begins, most North American college students have surf, sun and fun on their minds with little consideration of ancient history. Never mind that spring breaker Brendan Dobbins, an Australian visiting from Florida, was the first in the string of missing tourists in 2005.

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