LATAM e-News – Special Edition Costa Rica
Arturo´s Letter

Arturo García Rosa
President & Founder, SAHIC

Costa Rica: a unique destination for Hotels and Tourism Investments.

At this point, it is no longer a novelty that Costa Rica is undoubtedly a unique world reference in terms of development of Sustainable Tourism, what is surprising is that this clear example does not serve as a model to imitate and that, with greater determination and conviction, the international business community does not venture to be part of a country that will be a model in the world to come.

In Costa Rica, sustainable tourism is the result of decisions made by a population that chose a different path, a path that many consider complicated, unprofitable and, in some cases, even annoying, but that this country has shown not only that it is a possible path, but perhaps the only path that humanity must seriously consider if it is not to turn the planet into such a hostile environment where life, as we know it today, is difficult to imagine.

To prove this chosen path, it is enough mentioning that Costa Rica aims at a completely clean energy matrix by 2021, a path that is already showing very concrete results. According to data from the ICE (Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad), during 2016 98.2% of energy was collected from renewable sources: a) 74.39% from hydroelectric plants, b) 12.43% from geothermal energy, c) 10.65% from wind power plants, d) 0.73% from biomass, and e) 0.01% from solar panels.

Within this framework, Costa Rica has shown that investments within the scope of sustainability are possible without abandoning the legitimate aspiration of being profitable in the same way as outside that scope. Is there any doubt about what is the path to follow?

With doubts about global warming and climate change discarded, a debate that deserves any exchange except for their ignorance as a reality that does not admit our responsibility, the best thing would be to be able to direct ourselves as quickly as possible towards the structuring of a different model from the one that has led us to this situation, which many interests are beginning to deny.

Welcome then the decision of the “Ticos” to choose the path that we should all imitate and welcome the decision of the ICT – Instituto Costarricense de Turismo – to venture to hold the first conference on sustainable investments in hotels and tourism in Costa Rica.

As we have maintained for many years, investment promotion is the other face of demand promotion, however, for years the greatest efforts of most international destinations have been focused on active participation in fairs, congresses and other activities focused on “their promotion and sale”, forgetting that the virtuous circle of growth needs much more than that.

Generating new products and, above all, attracting investment are key to making sustainable growth a reality.

For us, who for ten years have been actively involved in the task of promoting investments in the industry in Latin America through the platform that we created in 2008 when we organized the first edition of SAHIC South America in Buenos Aires, it is an honor and a pleasure to be organizing this conference that the ICT will offer to the international community. An invitation-only event, attended by world business leaders. An initiative that follows the path of what other Latin American destinations have been following in the last years.

Particularly for our company, Prestily S. A., as the sole manager of SAHIC, this is the culmination of a special year. We celebrated the tenth edition of SAHIC South America. We celebrated the first edition of SAHIC Cuba, the first investment conference in that country, a milestone that will surely be remembered as a before and after in the history of tourism on the largest Caribbean island. And we validated years of working together with many destinations in the region such as Colombia, Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Argentina and Brazil, among others.

We now conclude the year with the responsibility of organizing this investment conference in Costa Rica for the ICT, which we expect will be the beginning of a long road ahead attracting investments in a sector that undoubtedly has a long way to go in this beautiful country.

See you next November 13th and 14th in San José.