Two main messages have emerged from Costa Rica’s hard-hit tourism industry, particularly its rural tourism industry, for international travelers who care about the country.
The first is: Please postpone, rather than cancel, any trips you had planned to Costa Rica. The hotels where you had reservations will likely be thrilled to work with you to make your reservation super flexible. The second is, if you were planning a trip anytime in the next two years and have any possibility of investing in that trip now, you could help save a rural tourism business.
I’ve heard from rural tourism businesses that are benefitting from both, and when I say “benefitting,” I mean crying tears of joy, seeing a small light at the end of the tunnel, being able to give some hope to employees who have no other way of feeding their families. It’s intense here, as it is everywhere.
Here’s an amazing video explaining the first idea:
And here’s what my dear friend Pip Kelly and her family at Casitas Tenorio B&B in the small town of Bijagua, in northern Costa Rica, pictured above, had to say about the second:
The COVID-19 crisis is affecting communities around the world, and the impact on Costa Rica’s tourism industry has left rural communities like ours, Bijagua, absolutely devastated. Since the beginning of the crisis in Costa Rica, we have spent our days working with guests to change or cancel their plans, following updates from the government, making sacrifices to keep our staff in their jobs as long as possible, and sharing food from our farm with members of our community. We’re lucky to be together in our little slice of paradise, although it has also been devastating to watch our projects and community face the worst economic threat in their history.
One of our greatest sources of comfort during this time has been the way that so many of our friends and family have reached out to offer words of hope, or to ask how they can help. Our guests and supporters are wonderful people, and we are lucky to know you. Some of you have gone to great lengths to postpone instead of cancelling your planned Casitas visit, and others who did not have reservations with us have asked what they could do.
You inspired us to create a gift card system so that, if you’d like, you can treat yourself or someone you love to the knowledge that a vacation in Costa Rica and a stay at Costa Rica is waiting ahead. You can buy a gift card for $100 or a custom amount, and you or your recipient will have 24 months to redeem it.
You’ll be providing our business, whose income has dropped to zero in a matter of days, with crucial support when it matters most. Your purchase will allow us to have access to some cash flow to continue to operate and to support local families in the community by providing employment.
Consider a Casitas Tenorio B&B Gift Card as a way to treat yourself or someone you love with the knowledge that a Costa Rican vacation is waiting ahead – and support our family-run business and our community!
Your support during a difficult time for everyone around the world has been a constant source of hope for us. Our family sends yours our very best wishes for health and peace of mind at this very difficult time. PURA VIDA from Costa Rica.
Have you been able to postpone, rather than cancel, a Costa Rican trip? Or have you bought a gift card or a future reservation for yourself or someone else? I’d love to hear your stories, and I wish health and calm for you and your families.
I’m a writer in San José, Costa Rica, on a year-long quest to share daily posts on inspiring people, places and ideas from my adopted home as a kind of tonic during a rough time in the world. Sign up (top right of this page) to receive a little dose of inspiration every weekday in your mailbox; tell a friend; check out past posts; and please connect with me on Instagram or Facebook! If you want to learn more about how to support Costa Rica during the crisis, visit my COVID-19 section, updated regularly – or for ways to enjoy Costa Rica from afar, visit Virtual Costa Rica.