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New Perpetual Tourism Law “Social Experiment”

Over this past weekend an article posted in The Costa Rica Star hit the web and social media like wild fire.  In the report, titled “New Law in Costa Rica for Perpetual Tourists,” the web site stated that new immigration laws that were “aimed at cracking down on perpetual tourists” were to become enforced on March 1st.

Perpetual Tourist Costa Rica 1The site used statements from “Mario Zamora, director general of Migracion y Extranjeria.” The only problem is Mario has not been in that position for over 4 years.

“Perpetual Tourists” around Costa Rica started sending the article to all of their friends as they believed it was true coming from a “news source”.  We all know we cannot believe everything we read on the web, but normally it does not get people running to call their immigration  lawyers and wasting their time and possibly money in something that was not true.

In an email this morning to the Costa Rican Times the publisher of the website stated that it was intentionally published to show how there is misinformation on the web.  However this was not noted in the original article when it was published and seemingly was being used to generate leads for their lawyer advertiser.

This was Adrian’s (The Costa Rica Star’s publisher) email to the Costa Rica Times this morning…. “That was the purpose of this article that we published, to prove that it is always best to consult a lawyer in legal matters related to immigration and residency. So much inaccurate content is published online about the subject, we had to blow it wide open, and we did.”

This was sent to several websites in Costa Rica as well as Corey Coates from The Overseas Radio Network.  His response I thought was appropriate ” This is just irresponsible.  People read your site for news, not to be part of a social experiment.  I have Rafael Valverde on my show today to clarify.  My opinion, you need to get out in front of this and apologize to your readers.”

Obviously Adrian did not think what he did was inappropriate with two follow up responses that stated the following:

Well it’s actually proving a point that what you read online is not always true, and also making the lawyer we work with very happy with new immigration leads…

and then the kicker

But who’s to tell me that 2,500 inbound links and 11,000 unique visits is not worth the social experiment? The newspaper industry sells advertising, not news.

No changes in Costa Rica’s immigration laws are slated for March 2014.

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