Tourism minister lost a few battles

When he was named, tourism leaders were thrilled that the Instituto Costarricense de Turismo would be headed by a person from the industry.

That expectation soured, and now Wilhelm von Breymann will be leaving the job, which is part of the presidential cabinet.

Von Breymann held the job when through no fault of his own, the central government seemed to be leaning on the industry. At the end of the Laura Chinchilla administration, a decree imposed five years of back taxes on a number of tourism operations. No one expected that, and there is some question as to the validity of the decree. But members of the new administration gleefully pledged to collect the tax. As it turned out a bill is in the legislature to void the back taxes and stage in the 13 to 15 percent taxes on tourism activities.

Then there were some budget battles that the minister did not win. So the industry turned against him.  Luis Guillermo Solís most likely will select a seasoned politician to replace him.

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