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Tamarindo Becomes a Leading Sustainable Tourism Destination

Written by Marisol
WAYRA Instituto de Español

By Tamarindo News Staff  Photos courtesy: Casa Presidencial and by THE Tamarindo News Files

• According to the Minister of Tourism, the new Police Delegation of Tamarindo will be in place by 2020.

• The management of the waste, public spaces and green areas restoration as well as the local culture will be promoted.

With an eye towards integration of sustainable practice strategies that include community participation and a study of family consumption, Tamarindo will become a regulated and “authentic” Costa Rican tourist destination within five years.

This forecast was determined by several community organizations and groups who came together to set three priority projects that will require work and commitment to implement.

The projects aim to set in place a comprehensive management of solid waste and sewage, and to build the COMMUNITY I COMUNIDAD Tamarindo Police Station, as well as sidewalks, bike paths and access to the beach, among other work. In addition, the projects envision a renewed focus in driving Tamarindo by its local culture.

 “As of today, there is a turning point for Tamarindo, thanks to the support of the Costa Rican Tourism Board,” said Hernan Imhoff, President of the Chamber of Commerce and Tourism of Tamarindo. Imhoff welcomed an agreement between the ICT and the Ministry of Public Security that will enable the construction of the Police Station this year in the same place as the proposed Tourism Development Center.

The Minister of Tourism, María Amalia Revelo, believes that the Police Station will be completed in mid-2020 under a public-private partnership. “We have the land and the resources,” she said. In promoting the comprehensive management of this well-known tourist destination, Revelo highlighted the efforts carried out by the ICT along with the Ministry of Culture: “We are interested in merging the local cultural experiences with the sun, the beach and the surf,” she said.

Sylvie Duran Salvatierra, Minister of Culture and Youth, and an ICT partner in this program, added that both organizations are carrying out an inventory of Santa Cruz’s cultural offerings (canton where Tamarindo is located) to determine what is to be promoted.

“Within the next five years, it is crucial to save the cultural tourism link among Tamarindo, Santa Cruz and Nicoya in order to design resources to strengthen the identity and development of the cultural enterprises in these cantons.”

 Santa Cruz is the birthplace of unique cultural practices in Guanacaste, such as the traditions around Black Christ of Esquipulas, the coyol wine, its traditional national celebrations, as well as its identification as “the folkloric city of Costa Rica.” The Virgin of Guadalupe is celebrated in Nicoya in December through the wellknown “Baile de la Yegüita”, a mixture of indigenous and Catholic tradition, as well as the Tortilla Festival celebrated in July. In both cantons, there are eight facilities considered to be architectural heritage buildings, including the church of San Blas de Nicoya, the largest archetypal colonial church in the country, which is actually undergoing restoration.

Tamarindo, in an area of 1.3 kilometers, is located in the Santa Cruz district of Guanacaste, is one of the main coastal centers of our country and has been developing its tourism activity for years in order to become the final destination for both domestic and international tourists. There are 108 accommodation businesses with 1,990 rooms in Tamarindo, representing 6.3% of the total number of lodging companies throughout the country’s tourist regions. Between 2015-2017, 95,226 tourists spent at least one night in this destination. The 2017-2021 National Tourism Plan—a document produced by the ICT along with the private sector—has identified 32 Tourism Development Centers throughout the country.

 These centers are known as “local destinations” and are defined as the tourism areas where the concentration of attractions, nature, tourist infrastructure and general services lead to a more or less constant flow of overnight tourists. The ICT and other local participants presented the management plans for Sarapiqui and Turrialba on March 13 and 15.

Tamarindo’s results were presented on May 24. In 2019, the ICT is working along with locals in the Caribbean, Monteverde, Puerto Jimenez and Los Santos.

 The goal is to incorporate an average of three Tourism Development Centers per year for a total of 15 in the 2019-2022 term.

About the Comprehensive Management Program of Tourism Destinations The program began in August 2018, promoted by the Costa Rican Tourism Board (ICT) in close coordination with the Ministry of Culture and Youth. It is designed to strengthen the local management of tourist destinations by providing support to local development organizations, to lead the processes of strengthening tourism activity in the short and medium term, as well as to develop an action path to implement strategies and actions that enhance and make the destination more competitive.

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