Eight national organizations and 44 regional chambers agreed to send a letter requesting an explanation from the U.S. Embassy in Costa Rica as to why the government decided to request increased security for tourists coming to Costa Rica.
The U.S. State Department used to have Costa Rica listed as a category one country, meaning “travel with normal precautions.” It downgraded the country, as of January 7, to category two, “exercise greater caution.”
The Minister of Tourism was surprised by this decision and hopes to negotiate with the United States to get back to category one. The reason to increase precautions was listed as due to criminality in the country, however the rate of crimes against tourists decreased by 5% from 2018 to 2019. Additionally, the country showed improvement in security for tourists by giving priority to complaints from international tourists and providing 11 bilingual prosecutors trained in tourism security.
Putting Costa Rica in category two wrongly puts it on par with Mexico and Columbia, which have much higher violence and homicide rates, and European countries affected by terrorist threats.