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Costa Rica is the preferred surf destination

Jun 17

ict-officials-wine-dine-circuit-costa-rica

On and on and in ever increasing numbers to justify their existance ICT or the Costa Rica Tourism Institute, released more statistics today that says “Costa Rica is increasingly a surfing destination for international travellers seeking a surf vacation. ” Does anyone find this odd? Where have the “officials” at ICT been living? I know where, at the lavish tourism shows being wined and dined by somebody and in turn wining and dining someone else. In the perpetual international wine and dine circuit where nothing gets done but the appearance of being busy and on a tight schedule.

Lucky for most of the ethical people and “international travellers” we did not have to rely on ICT to tell us about Costa Rica’s surfing opportunities. Nor did Billabong who has sponsored their first ISA World Surfing Games scheduled to take place in Playa Hermos, Costa Rica this summer.  Imagine what Costa Rica would have turned into if not for the wine and dine circuit participants of ICT figuring out that Costa Rica is a surfing mecca. Maybe they want to get their hands on some of the cash that will be flowing for a period of ten days during the World Surfing Games or maybe they needed another reason to join a different wine and dine circuit.

Luckily Jose Urena, president of the Costa Rican Surfing Federation, was not on the wine and dine circuit but in the real life of creating and operating the Costa Rica National Surfing Circuit which features all of the top national surfers in Costa Rica. Jose Urena saw an opportunity to showcase Costa Rica and with a team of surfers in the 2008 World Surfing Games showing some real talent, he persuaded top officials to take a serious look at Costa Rica for the 2009 World Surfing Games. 

Imagine Tico Surfers in this cover?

Imagine Tico Surfers in this cover?

According to ISA officials, it was not the ICT dinner circuit participants, but Costa Rica’s close location to the United States that weighed int their choice of location for the 2009 games.  The ISA knew that hundreds of professional surfers would be in California prior to the World Surf Games for the US Open of surfing. With Costa Rica being so close and WSG 2009 starting so soon after the US Open the closest credible surf spot was Costa Rica. Credible meaning real surf waves, real surfer fan base, real hospitality infrastructure and an organizing body like Jose Urena’s federation. OMG did the tourist industry and surfers of Costa Rica actually create the opportunity for themselves to be host to the 2009 WSG and future games or was it the wine and dine players of ICT. You be the judge but I can tell you that Costa Rican surfer are some of the best surfers in the world and with this exposure of the WSG in Playa Hermosa, THE WORLD will know that Costa Rica has been for years a surfing mecca and does produce top notch surfers like Jason Torres, Lisbeth Vindas and more.

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