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Rediscover Costa Rica seeks solutions for the economic reactivation of tourist areas

The Costa Rican tourism sector is one of the most affected by the worldwide impact of COVID-19. According to the Tourism Development Plan 2017-2021, by 2015 the sector generated approximately 160,000 jobs directly and at least 450,000 additional jobs related in some way to tourism.  However, the pandemic has left practically no income for the entire industry: Hoteliers, Transport companies, Tour agencies, Tour operators, Guides, Porters, Chambers and Associations, and hundreds associated with tourism, such as artisan groups.

In the face of this uncertainty, and considering the importance of tourist activity, which in 2016 accounted for 6.3% of GDP; the Costa Rica United States of America Foundation for Cooperation (CRUSA) with the support of the National Learning Institute (INA), the National Chamber of Tourism (CANATUR), the Costa Rican Tourism Institute (ICT), the Costa Rican Coalition of Initiatives for Development (CINDE) and the private sector; developed a small investment program aimed at promoting the economic reactivation of tourist areas located outside the Greater Metropolitan Area (GAM), called Rediscover Costa Rica.

Rediscovering Costa Rica launched this Thursday the Solutions Contest, through which the best proposals aimed at promoting sustainable tourism and a wellness model will be selected for financing. Any organization related to tourism can participate, such as Development Associations, Chambers, Federations, Foundations, SMEs, and any other Costa Rican entity duly registered.

The program has already identified the challenges presented by the tourism sector, among which job creation, marketing and promotion, and training of the workforce stand out. This Thursday the contest opens to propose solutions to the challenges communities are facing, with an initial investment of $ 150,000 contributed by the CRUSA Foundation.

Flora Montealegre, Executive Delegate of CRUSA explained that the objective of Rediscover Costa Rica is to promote actions that contribute to the design of a Sustainable Tourism and Wellness strategy, based on principles of sustainability and local economic development.

“We are looking for initiatives that encourage creativity and innovation in the tourism sector for its economic reactivation, for example, linking technology with training in the design, use and monitoring of health protocols; incorporate sustainability criteria, optimize the use of water or energy; and develop applications to take advantage of data analysis for the marketing of tourist products, ”said Montealegre.

How to participate?

Interested parties can present proposals, from Thursday, July 9, until July 31, by following the following steps:

1: Enter the Rediscover Costa Rica website (www.crusa.cr/redescovercr) and download the application form for proposals to the Solutions Contest.

2: Complete each of the requirements established in the application template (Incomplete applications will not qualify)

3: Enter the digital form of the Solutions Contest, complete the registration information and attach the proposal application template.

Montealegre explained that the proposals must clearly indicate the geographical location of the proposal and the impact at the territorial level that its implementation encompasses.  The involvement of local actors in its implementation is essential. Additionally, the proposal must apply digital technologies to achieve the objectives and promote actions aimed at promoting a sustainable tourism model in the intervention area.

Contest Categories

Proposals can be presented in the following categories:

1. Strengthening Workforce Skills to face new demands required by local and international tourists, in areas such as gastronomy, sustainability, security and well-being, among others.

2. Value Chains. Generation and promotion of new local or regional tourism products for the new demands of local and international tourists.

3. Hygiene protocols. Training, implementation and certification processes of hygiene and sanitation protocols established by authorities.

4.Branding of Tourist Zones.  Strategies that facilitate branding tourist areas as reliable, safe and accessible destinations for local and international tourists.

The proposals will be analyzed, and finalists will be pre-selected with requests to improve the proposals and re-submit from August 3 to 17. On August 25 finalist proposals will be selected and on September 2 winners will be announced.

Winners will receive a maximum of $ 10,000 for the implementation of their proposals.

If you or your company wishes to donate and be part of this campaign, you can do so by contacting the CRUSA Foundation, by phone (+506) 2246 5656 or by visiting the website https://crusa.cr/redescovercr