Hotel Bookings: Controversy in Costa Rica

Hoteliers believe that the government's recommendation to return the full amount to guests who had rooms reserved, who for the moment will not be able to enjoy the service because of the health crisis, is unworkable.

Monday, April 13, 2020

A report by the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Commerce (MEIC) details that consumers have the right to a refund or rescheduling without penalty, as opposed to cancellation of reservations at the national or international level.

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For the Costa Rican Chamber of Hotels (CCH), the option of returning the money is unfeasible, since several restrictions have been decreed due to the covid-19 outbreak and the establishments do not have any income.

Javier Pacheco, president of the CCH, told that "... the total return of the sums advanced is not feasible, as the hotels would be left with nothing in their funds, since the sector is practically without activity".

Victoria Hernandez, head of the MEIC, reported that last week "... they agreed to make a common protocol, through which they propose to postpone hotel reservations, tour reservations, and other tourism-related reservations. We are looking for the least harm to consumers, and to prevent hotels from going bankrupt."

Covid-19: How do the outlook for tourism companies change given the new commercial reality?

We prepared for our clients the interactive report "Information System: Covid-19 and Business Outlook" which helps companies to measure the impact that the crisis will have on their activity in the coming months.

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Due to Costa Rica's estimated average hotel occupancy rate of 52% by 2020, well below the 95% recorded at the end of 2019, businessmen in the sector expect that in this context of crisis there will be no peak seasons next year.

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Commercial Sector Suggests Resumption of Activities

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Applying cleaning and prevention protocols in workplaces and shops, such as those stipulated by the health authorities, are the proposals of Costa Rican businessmen to resume the commercial activity that has been restricted since mid-March.

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