Coronavirus and Tourism in Central America

Some of the most notable effects caused by the spread of covid-19 is the cancellation of at least 8,000 hotel nights in Costa Rica, and the interruption by Iberia of its flights from Madrid to Guatemala and San Salvador.

Friday, March 13, 2020

Businessmen in the region agree that due to the virus that has been spreading from China, supply chains have been interrupted, which is combined with a drop in the transit of people, causing losses to the tourism sector.

You may be interested in "Tourism and Travel: Consumer Interests and Preferences"

Data from the Costa Rican Association of Travel Agencies (ACAV), specify that the country's travel agencies canceled about 90% of reservations to Europe and the East, and that future reservations could contract by 50%. says that "... Hoteliers reported the cancellation of 8,000 nights so far, some for the month of March, but most for April, May and June. The Costa Rican Chamber of Hotels (CCH) projects a drop in future sales ranging from 5% to 50% depending on the area of the country".

Also see "Tourism and the Coronavirus Threat"

Convention tourism is another area affected, as 50 international events have been cancelled only in Costa Rica.

Tatiana Orozco, executive director of the Costa Rica Convention Bureau, explained that "... the companies affiliated with this entity are in negotiations with their clients, to try to reschedule activities for the second half of the year."

The European airline Iberia decided to cancel its flights to Guatemala and El Salvador for the remainder of March. In a statement explained that they are "... aware that the current situation may cause much discomfort and inconvenience but we reiterate that on our side we are working on providing options according to our possibilities in order to minimize impact. It is a complicated moment worldwide and we expect support and a single message to their executives so that they know how to proceed and limit the response times."

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More on this topic

Tourism: Far Light at the End of the Tunnel

June 2020

The lack of definition of the date when Guatemala's borders will be reopened causes uncertainty among local entrepreneurs in the sector, which is going through one of the most severe crises due to the covid-19 outbreak.

As a result of the spread of the virus, the Guatemalan authorities suspended commercial flights and closed the borders to tourists.

Costa Rica Stops Tourism

March 2020

Within the framework of the national emergency declared by the government due to the crisis of the covid19, the decision was taken to suspend from March 19 to April 12, 2020, the entry of foreigners to the country.

In the case of flights, a decree instructs that from this Wednesday March 18 from 23:59 until 23:59 Sunday April 12, 2020 only Costa Ricans and residents may enter the country, explains a statement from the Ministry of Health.

Tourism and the Coronavirus threat

March 2020

A drop in the flow of tourists to the region, cancellation of reservations and the suspension of flights are part of the expected consequences of the spread of the virus worldwide.

According to the report prepared by the Central Bank of Costa Rica called "Commentary on the national economy for February 2020", derived from the outbreak of pneumonia caused by SARS-CoV-2 virus (coronavirus) is expected to report a negative impact on the influx of tourists to the country.

Strike, Blockades and Tourism

September 2018

After nine days of strikes by public officials in Costa Rica, tour operators, hotels and restaurants in different parts of the country are reporting that reservations are being cancelled and sales are plummeting.

The strike being promoted by the country's public unions started on Monday, September 6, and has already caused millions of dollars worth of losses due to multiple road blocks and acts of sabotage in the fuel distribution chain, among other coercive measures. 

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