Presidential candidate Araya promotes increased rural tourism; support for small operators

Johnny Araya

PLN presidential candidate and former mayor of San Jose, Johnny Araya (archive.)

December 13th, 2013 ( Presidential hopeful Johnny Araya told a group of tourism entrepreneurs yesterday that the tourism sector should shift to a development model which supports small and medium enterprises, particularly those located in rural areas.


Araya used La Fortuna de San Carlos, home of the Arenal Volcano, as an example.  “I think [La Fortuna] represents a model that delivers and leaves more benefits to Costa Rican society, I think other areas such as the Southern Zone, Central Pacific and Limon, should stimulate this model, which is more balanced and better distributes wealth,” Araya said.


Araya also said he would encourage agreements with financial institutions to negotiate better credit terms for family-ran tourism businesses, some of which are heavily in debt.


Araya said he also supports the concept of “conference tourism” aimed at the growing niche.

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    • roberto

      And…. international travel offered
      Costa Rica vacation packages this year
      including multiple destinations, including rural Tortuguero.
      However, the itinerary for 2014 does not include the destination, due to the insecurity that has occurred in the
      area in recent months, including the past Friday.

    • Ken Morris

      Big picture is that Araya’s strength is in San José so he needs to do better outside it. Big picture may also be that tourism initiatives outside of San José aren’t likely to help him a lot. Tourism is a big industry, but not that big. However, he clearly needs to do what he can. It’s a horse race and the guy is stalling out . . .

      • Yeims

        Damn!!! I was going to point out exactly the same thing. He´s just trying to appear knowledgeable in an area in which he has no experience and very little knowledge.

        • roberto

          Maybe he has a financial interest in a rural tourism project.