Government Semana Santa rule does not sit well with hotel chamber

Hotel operators are unhappy because the central government is making employees work Monday through Wednesday on Semana Santa. Traditionally, the government workers have had the entire week off.

President Luis Guillermo Solís, embroiled in a controversy over the fiscal deficit, government spending and new taxes, issued the decree providing just Thursday and Friday to be days off during the week. They are national holidays anyway.

Although the week preceding Easter is filled with religious activities, the bulk of the population seem to head to the beaches or mountains.

And that is what the hotel operators want. The Cámara Costarricense de Hoteles said Wednesday that its members were expecting from 80 to 85 percent occupancy over Semana Santa. But with the change in plan by the government hotel operators expected that some reservations would be canceled, said the chamber.

Government workers can go to the beach for the entire week as long as they have vacation time and receive supervisory approval, said Casa Presidencial Wednesday.

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