We cannot avoid the obvious. Security for travelers to Costa Rica became the main subject for all of us in the travel industry. Find here the changes that are going on in our country to ensure your safety.
Costa Rica’s Tourism Board (ICT) summarized its efforts to improve security for travelers to Costa Rica over the past year.
ICT’s association with the National Police
ICT and the Public Security Ministry (MSP) launched in 2018 a five-year agreement that involves funding to build dedicated National Police offices in Tamarindo, Guanacaste and Santa Teresa, Puntarenas — two Costa Rican towns that have experienced significant tourism growth.
The agreement is also funding training and equipment for more than 300 Tourist Police.
Lifeguards on Costa Rica’s beaches
In April 2019, Costa Rica began a three-year process to establish lifeguard programs at several famous beaches.
An agreement with the Red Cross also includes the hiring of 20 lifeguards this year to supervise Manuel Antonio Beach and Ballena Beach in Puntarenas province, and at Cocles-Manzanillo Beach in Limón.
ICT also says it has added signage to 100 high-risk beaches throughout Costa Rica, warning of riptides and other dangers.
Finally, ICT and the University of Costa Rica (UCR) launched an updated MIOCIMAR app that provides updates on surf conditions.
More tools for tourists
ICT launched a safety travelers campaign that includes informational videos presented for arriving passengers at Juan Santamaría (SJO) and Daniel Oduber Quirós (LIR) International Airports.
Since November 2018, ICT says it has helped train 3,500 people “to prevent emergencies and to adequately attend them when they arise.”
Finally, a mobile phone application with “advice and information on beaches, cities, hotels, road transport, emergency contacts and a directory with foreign embassies” will be launched within six weeks, according to ICT.
Visitors can also reference visitcostarica.com for official ICT information.
Have these measures worked?
While these measures are almost undoubtedly positive steps toward improving tourism safety in Costa Rica, we’ll await end-of-year numbers to assess their impact.