How COVID-19 is Affecting Tourism in Monteverde Costa Rica
COVID-19 has impacted Tourism in Costa Rica pretty drastically.
By this time, the vast majority of lodges, hotels, restaurants, parks and tour operators are closed. Some are going in debt, others have permanently shut down their operation.
Many industries have been affected by the virus, especially since the World Health Organization declared it a global pandemic last month, and the Travel and Tourism industries could arguably be the most impacted.
Many of our customers have reached out to check on how we are doing, so I thought about posting this blog to give everyone a quick update on where we are at. While the situation is certainly not the best (especially considering that the issue arouse right in the middle of the high tourism season), we, at El Bosque Trails, Tours and Eco-Lodge, are trying to make the most out of it. Sadly, most of our staff are currently on layoff, but we are doing the best to get some help from our government to support their families. And I certainly look forward to bringing them back as soon as the situation gets better. We’re staying in touch via WhatsApp to ensure everyone is doing well.
For now, the top priority is to stay at home to flat the curve.
Our Tour Guides (Diogenes, Olger, Daniel Jr and Elizabeth) are currently staying home and so is our Housekeeping Staff (Hazel, Daylin, Johanna and Brenda) as well as our Reception Staff (Ernesto and Roy).
There is only Moises, Jose and myself (Daniel) working at the lodge at this point (and socially distant from one another). We are on a mission to improve our trails and lodge.
Before going home, Ernesto did a phenomenal job, creating a very thorough regression analysis, looking at all the areas of opportunity that our customers reported to us via online reviews from as far back in the past as the last 5 seasons. And thanks to this detailed report, we were able to pinpoint the top 3 issues our customers experienced:
- “Showers don’t drain well…”
- “Toilets don’t flush well…”
- “The smell of sewage…”
These problems have been with us for a long time, not everyday, not in every room, but here and there from time to time. What happens is that the draining/septic system was built in a very rudimentary fashion over 30 years ago, and fixing this is not easy, it required a partial demolition and lots of digging with backhoes around the lodge. It has been smelly, and noisy so you can imagine this could’ve never been done unless we were completely empty, with no customers.
So we seized the opportunity. We called a couple of consultants. We rented the machines and equipment and off we went to work on a project to get this fixed.
The project is only 25% completed as of today and it will take over a month to be 100% complete. The target date is May 15th, two weeks before we open our doors again.
For now, I want to thank all of you who have postponed their travel plans (instead of cancelling) as well as those of you who’ve stayed with us time and again and who have reached out to wish us well. These are tough times for our business but I am positive, they will make us stronger!
I also want to wish all our customers the best!
Stay Home. Stay Healthy. And please do not cancel your travel plans. Postpone them.
Costa Rica is a Nature Paradise and we need Tourism in order to keep our forests alive!
Daniel Lalinde, Manager
El Bosque Trails, Tours and Eco-Lodge