The newly elected President of Costa Rica, Rodrigo Chaves Robles, has chosen William Rodríguez as the country’s new Tourism Minister, replacing Gustavo Alvarado as head of the department. As well as becoming Costa Rica’s new Tourism Minister, Rodríguez will also be head of the Costa Rica Tourism Board (ICT) from now on.
Rodríguez, 71, is well known in both the public and private national tourism sectors, where he has worked for more than 49 years holding a variety of positions. These include being the general manager of the Aurola Holiday Inn in San Jose; country manager of United Airlines in Costa Rica and Guatemala, and being marketing director at ICT (Costa Rica Tourism Board). Together with tourism, the new minister has experience in international relations, business and economics. He holds a degree in Political Science and a Master’s degree in Business Administration and Marketing.
Rodríguez mentioned that his main priority at the moment is to completely reactivate international tourism and to achieve the same visitor figures as in 2019, prior to the Covid-19 pandemic. In this regard, he said: “Destinations around the world are saying that they will be meeting the 2019 visitor arrival figures in 2024 or 2025. However, our aim is that Costa Rica gets full back on track sometime in 2023.” For this reason, air connectivity with the UK and Europe are amongst Rodríguez’s main priorities.
Getting repeat visitors to Costa Rica is also key for the new Tourism Minister, who claimed that Costa Ricans are the best asset to achieve that. “Visitors come to Costa Rica because of the wildlife, nature, adventure and wellness; but we know they return because of the warmth and friendliness of the locals, who are always willing to give visitors a hand.” The average length of a holiday in Costa Rica increased from 12.6 to 13.6 days before the pandemic.