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Spring Breakers Opt for Safe Costa Rica as Mexico violence soars Mar 01

spring-break-costa-rica-college-girlsAccording to the US State Departments website, Mexico should be avoided as a destination for travel. The site offers the general mix of safety suggestions; travel in groups, be aware of your surroundings, etc. This is coming on the heels of ever increasing violence and killings that the police, Mexican army cannot stop. Currently, Mexico’s border towns are lawless but the perpetrators thought to be drug gangs know that hurting or destroying Mexico’s multi-billion dollar tourism industry has a greater impact than the killings of police, soldiers, and civilians. and many other sites have seen a huge increase in visitors seeking information about Costa Rica. Most are concerned with the violence in places like Cancun, Cozemel, and Mazatlan where they would typically spend their college spring break. Students are increasingly searching for safer destinations for their spring break and are choosing Costa Rica. Just when the global economy was putting further pressure on the tourism industry here in Costa Rica, it is actually grabbing another niche travel market. more…

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The 411 on 911 in Costa Rica Jan 07

Every year thousands of tourists visit Costa Rica with ideas of experiencing adventure, tropical rain forests, wild animals, and surfing. While the majority of these adventures are safe and relatively low risk, it is the alternative activities or spontaneous decisions that pose very high risks. What are some of these alternatives? Suffice to say, anything in which your participation when gone awry could cause grave injuries. Why?

While Costa Rica boasts the traditional 911 emergency number, it is nothing remotely similar to the USA, Canada, or European systems. To demonstrate differences, just a few basics about the other countries system: US,CA; rapid response under 10 minutes, stabilization for transport and trauma care at hospital, European;rapid response under 10 minutes, stabilization & trauma care brought to scene. All have Enhanced-911 services; callerID with physical address, coordinated radio command & control of fire-police-EMT. And all come equipped for the job.

In Costa Rica, while authorities may claim rapid response is a high priority it does not exist. Furthermore, the noted basics of the other countries systems does not exist here. When you dial 911 in Costa Rica, you are sent to a central office in San Jose where they attempt to coordinate a response.

Red Cross Central Operations upgraded in 2001 from donation by Japan

Red Cross Central Operations upgraded in 2001 from donation by Japan

Often, when they call the local Red Cross or Cruz Rojo there is no answer. If you become incapacitated during the call, no luck locating the origin of the call, hence, no location information. When a response is received and the Red Cross arrives they often are ill-equipped to deal with any emergency other than their training. Equipment is often non-functional, or non-existent and hospital transport can be upwards to 2 hours depending on your location and that meter begins after they arrive on the scene which can take up to an hour. more…

Jet Blue now flies direct from Orlando to Costa Rica Jan 05

Despite the downturn in the economy and the airline route reduction, low cost carrier Jet Blue is adding San Jose Costa Rica to it flight schedule. They will operate direct flights from Orlando, Florida to San Jose, Costa Rica starting March 26th, 2009. This is good news for tourism in Costa Rica because in order to increase visitors, Costa Rica needed more airline carriers to add Costa Rica to their routes. 

Peter van Hussen, General Manager DayStar Properties expressed in order to fill the capacity of vacancies in Jaco we will need to work with the airlines to add more flights. This solution requires careful coordination and negotiation with the different carriers. State officials have long known that attracting airlines is a balance of incentives and ability to service the arriving flights.

This is a great news for surfers who vacation here in Costa Rica.  Many surfers who live on the east coast of the United States often use Jet BLue to take weekend trips to the beaches of Florida to surf. With the addition of this route, weekend surfers will be able to get connecting flights in Orlando and surf the beaches of Costa Rica.

Surf in Jaco will let you know which hotels here in Jaco and Costa Rica will offer specials for Jet Blue customers. We will work with the local hotels here in Jaco to offer special discounts for our visitors and Jet Blue customers. The good news for Jaco hotels and Costa Rica in general is that Jet Blue does not have any plans in the near future to open up any other Central American destinations.

According to sources, ICT or the Costa Rica Tourism Institute and Alterra which has the management contract for Juan Santa Maria Airport fought hard for this new route and is proud of their results.

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