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After signing Memorandum of Agreement


* Tourism minister signs agreement during official visit
* Cooperation will facilitate influx of tourists to the country

As of today, business between China and Costa Rica to boost tourism will be stronger, after both nations signed a Memorandum of Agreement regarding this topic.

The document was signed by the Costa Rican tourism minister, Carlos Ricardo Benavides, during his official visit to Beijing, and the executive president of the National Tourism Board of China, Qi Wei Chao, in the presence of the Costa Rican ambassador, Antonio Burgués and notable Costa Rican businessmen, Carlos Lizama, the president of the Costa Rican Association of Tourism Professionals, and Gonzalo Vargas of the National Chamber of Tourism.

For the Minister of Tourism, Carlos Ricardo Benavides, this is a new step toward the diversification and expansion of the tourism market that the country needs, by looking at huge opportunities that present themselves.

“By signing this Memorandum of Agreement, the country officially opens its doors to Chinese tourists, who, as of today, will have an easier time to come enjoy the beauty that out country offers. We are certain of the huge potential that Costa Rica has with this new market and we are aware that in order to take advantage of this opportunity, we must work hard to reach the long and short term anticipated returns,” said Benavides.

On the other side, Qi Wei Chao, executive president of the National Tourism Board of China declared that his country’s goal by the year 2020 is to have 100 million Chinese citizens traveling abroad, of which, it is hoped that a significant number spend their vacations in Costa Rica.

One of the main achievements contained in the Memorandum involves steps toward the promotion of Chinese tourist groups coming to Costa Rica, by which China must designate travel agencies in its country that are authorized to carry out international travel business, and therefore organize the travel plans of these groups to the country.

Likewise, Costa Rica will make the commitment to officially notify those travel agencies that have legal requirements and that are interested in handling these groups during their stay in the country.

One of the other requirements is that these groups have consulting and assistance facilities for emergencies that may arise during their stay in Costa Rica. The same must be offered to government agencies as well as tourist service businesses that are involved in these excursions. That’s why the free flow of pertinent information for these travelers is essential.

Since the signing of this Memorandum, Costa Rica has taken another step toward the search for an opening in the Chinese tourist market. This occurred when the Chinese government declared us “the Preferred Destination Spot,” a status that would be essential for recreational tourism marketing events. Presently this title is held only by Mexico, Chile, Peru, and Costa Rica in all of Latin America.

During his visit to China, Benavides met with the director of the Ministry of Chinese Trade in Latin America, with whom it was agreed that marketing done in Costa Rica will integrate the tourist sector.

ICT Costa Rica Tourism Board (January 8., 2008) San Jose, Costa Rica