Published Thursday, February 18, 2021
Chinese citizens don’t need visa to Costa Rica
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff
Intending to boost tourism, the government announced that Chinese citizens from the cities of Beijing and Shanghai do not need a visa to enter the country.
According to the government, this decision is part of a plan to reactivate the economy and the tourism sector that was affected by the covid-19 pandemic.
"The tourism sector is the most affected in our economy due to the pandemic and recognizing this reality we have adopted as a government, with the leadership of the Tourism Institute and other institutions, a group of measures to promote the reactivation of tourism activity," President Carlos Alvarado said.
The first patient identified with covid-19 was in December 2019 in Wuhan, China. According to statistics from the Center for Systems Science and Engineering of Johns Hopkins University in the U.S., Wuhan currently registers a total of 50,340 cases of people who were infected with the virus, where 3,869 people have died.
In the case of Beijing, the university statistics show a total of 1,046 people diagnosed with the virus, of which 9 patients died. In Shanghai, the total number of registered infected patients is 536, of which 6 died.
According to updated university statistics in China, there have been 89,795 people who have reported being infected with the virus, of which 4,636 have died.
Citizens of these two cities will be able to enter the country without a visa as of March 1, contingent they book their trip using a tourism package from a tourism agency or tour operator company registered in Costa Rica.
In 2019, the government documented 16,847 Chinese tourists having arrived in the country by sea, air and land.
"About 10% of China's people travel internationally, which is equivalent to 140 million people," the government said in a statement. "By 2027, the number of people with passports is expected to reach 300 million, which is equivalent to 20% of the Chinese population."
In addition to promoting the entry of Chinese citizens from those cities, the government announced additional measures to promote the economic reactivation of the tourism sector, such as:
• An investment of more than $3.6 million in tourism infrastructure to be built within protected areas.
• Allow public employees one day off per week to do local tourism
• 2-year extension of permits to tourist transport service companies.
• Exclude income tax to tourist companies that have had losses in 2020.
• Reduced rate of $20 for the payment of operating permits to small tourism businesses.
• 20% decrease in the cost of Health Registration for tourist companies.
Costa Rica resumed diplomatic relations with China 13 years ago.
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