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  • Four Seasons To Build New Resort In Costa Rica
    of the lush peninsula including prime Pacific Ocean beachfront that climbs to a 320 foot plateau overlooking Virador Bay and Banca Bay It is a mere 10 miles from the new Liberia International Airport Slated to open in late 2002 the Hotel will have 170 guest rooms and suites plus 40 villa units It will be designed in one and two story buildings to form a landscaped hillside village effect overlooking the ocean In addition the property will offer two dining venues plus poolside dining a full service spa and health club four tennis courts and a tennis center fresh water swimming pools and water sports facilities An as yet unnamed leading designer will create a Four Seasons championship golf course and guest will also have access to two additional courses A marina and possibly a casino are on the drawing board for the master resort project A 40 unit Four Seasons Residence Club will offer another special and luxurious lodging opportunity with full access to all the Hotel s amenities Blessed with tropical beaches smoking volcanoes and thick rainforest Costa Rica has become a prime destination for eco tourists A small tropical country Costa Rica is situated between two oceans the Pacific and the Atlantic Caribbean Though it only occupies about 32 000 square miles it contains a wide variety of rivers plains mountains valleys volcanoes beaches and a hugely diversified plant and animal population in many nature and wildlife reserves In fact Costa Rica has over 12 000 species of plants over 237 species of mammals more varieties of butterflies than in all of the continent of Africa and more than 150 species of reptiles and amphibians There are also more than 1 800 species of orchids native to the country and over 850 species of birds Located

    Original URL path: http://www.ticonet.co.cr/costa-rica/readings/001030.html (2015-06-03)
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  • Intel has changed the trade flows in Costa Rica
    the sudden imbalance One single chip is worth between US 400 and US 800 depending on its configuration and Intel ships in 25 unit boxes Last year Arias says the company exported some 20 million units mainly to the United States and Western Europe Intel began manufacturing in Costa Rica in mid 1998 and since then it has opened a second factory on the site The plant is used to assemble products using raw materials and components made at other Intel plants We take that core microprocessor and add all the electronic circuitry that will give the component connectivity to a computer Of the four steps fabrication selection assembly and testing we do the last two here Eventually up to 25 percent of all Pentium chips and other Intel products for personal computers worldwide will be assembled in Costa Rica Arias says That s quite a distinction for a small country known mainly for its volcanoes rainforests gourmet coffee and hand painted oxcarts We are no longer competitive with Honduras Nicaragua Guatemala or El Salvador for low wage jobs That s why we re trying to attract more high tech companies like Intel to Costa Rica says Lynda Solar executive director of the Costa Rican American Chamber of Commerce Intel she says has had a strong impact on the local job market increasing demand for qualified engineers and raising salaries When Intel was considering locations for its plant Mexico Brazil and Chile were the top choices says Arias who worked for Costa Rica s investment promotion agency before joining Intel in December 1996 Costa Rica was the dark horse candidate Ultimately the company was attracted by the nation s high literacy rate a skilled workforce that spoke English political stability and respect for the rule of law Says Arias It

    Original URL path: http://www.ticonet.co.cr/costa-rica/readings/000901.html (2015-06-03)
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  • A Silicon Republic: A few years ago, Costa Rica was known mainly for its bananas. Then the world's biggest semiconductor maker came calling. Lessons from the high-tech frontier
    editor of Foreign Policy magazine and a former Venezuelan Economic minister Costa Rican President Miguel Angel Rodriguez has publicly joked that the Intel plant manager has a job more important than his own Yet he has nothing but praise for the Intel miracle We needed to have a presence on the economic stage and strengthen our ability to attract high tech foreign investment he said in an e mail interview with NEWSWEEK Intel did that for us At first glance the marriage of country and company is an odd one Intel has been the largest producer of silicon chips since 1992 and is one of the strongest engines of growth in the new economy Costa Rica meanwhile has the population of South Carolina and the economic output of North Dakota It was dependent on the volatile coffee and banana crops until the 1970s when it expanded into areas like tourism and textiles But NAFTA demolished the textile trade in the early 90s luring textile plants to Mexico for cheaper workers and more favorable trade conditions Mired in a recession in the mid 90s the country decided to use its well educated work force 95 percent literate the highest rate in Latin America to court the electronics companies that were reshaping the U S economy to the north At the same time Intel was looking to build another assembly test plant the factory that takes the chips manufactured at fabrication plants and turns them into working processors The company spreads such plants around the world to reduce the risks of concentrating production in one region and of course to capitalize on the plentiful cheap labor and tax incentives in many lesser developed countries Intel s early response to Costa Rica s bid to host the new factory was not promising Putting our facility in Costa Rica would be like putting a whale in a swimming pool an Intel official told Thomas Duena now the country s secretary of Trade But after an intense yearlong courtship Intel chose Costa Rica over Mexico Singapore and Taiwan Officials cited its friendly stable government and the literate work force They also got the good deal the country offers to all large corporations eight years without taxes four additional years with a 50 percent discount and a bulk rate on electricity Some local economists question Intel s real impact on the country Since no money flows into the national coffers the company doesn t help with issues like road improvements or phone network upgrades And the plant in San Jose must import more than 90 percent of its supplies from abroad since no local electronics industry yet exists By contrast an Intel plant in Taiwan or Singapore buys 80 percent of its supplies locally sending more money into those economies Intel boosters think this will take time to develop in Costa Rica But for now the company s actual input takes the form of salaries electricity bills and payments to contractors Other critics wonder if the

    Original URL path: http://www.ticonet.co.cr/costa-rica/readings/000828.html (2015-06-03)
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  • PriceSmart opens second membership warehouse in Costa Rica
    pricesmart com today announced its second opening in less than a year of a membership shopping warehouse in San Jose Costa Rica In eleven months of operations in Costa Rica we have acquired over 65 000 accounts representing approximately 100 000 members Clearly Costa Rica has endorsed the PriceSmart shopping concept We are deeply grateful to our members for their vote of confidence We are excited about the prospects for this our second warehouse and for the prospects of our third Costa Rican store scheduled to open in Heredia within the next 75 days said Kurt May Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of PriceSmart Within the next 60 days PriceSmart also plans to open its second Honduran warehouse in Tegucigalpa and a fourth Panamanian store in David PriceSmart now operates eleven membership warehouses in Central America and the Caribbean region including warehouses in Costa Rica 2 Dominican Republic 2 El Salvador 2 Guatemala 1 Honduras 1 and Panama 3 The Company is on schedule to meet its previously stated objective of opening 10 new locations this fiscal year 6 of which have opened to date PriceSmart anticipates operating 15 membership shopping warehouses in the Central American and Caribbean region by Fall 2000 The Company also licenses 4 warehouses in China and 1 warehouse in Saipan Micronesia PriceSmart headquartered in San Diego is a volume driven merchandise and services provider delivering quality value and low prices to the rapidly emerging consumer class in Central America the Caribbean and Asia This press release contains forward looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties that might cause actual results to differ from those foreseen including the risks detailed in the Company s SEC reports including the Company s Form 10 K filed pursuant to the Securities and Exchange Act of

    Original URL path: http://www.ticonet.co.cr/costa-rica/readings/000512.html (2015-06-03)
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  • Abbott Laboratories opens industrial plant
    L Parkinson Jr President and General Manager of Abbott Laboratories and Richard Gonzalez Senior Vice President of Abbott Laboratories were also present Parkinson declared To us this represents the beginning of a major and long lasting relationship with Costa Rica and its citizens In March 1999 Abbott laid the foundation stone for the plant beginning its construction Parkinson added If it were not for the wonderful people of this country this excellent industrial plant would not be a reality today One of the most important reasons why we decided to start developing our company here is the excellence of the labor force which is highly qualified and efficient as we have seen We hope to grow hand in hand with Costa Rica for many more years to come The new industrial plant is located in Parque Global a free zone industrial park located in Barreal de Heredia Abbott s plant occupies approximately 23 000 m2 built on a 14 hectare piece of land At present Abbott provides employment to 352 full time workers and 400 more will be hired during the first year of operations Abbott s plant in Costa Rica will produce some of the most advanced medical products in the world including devices for control and administration of intravenous medicines which will greatly contribute to the quality of medical services provided to people in many countries Abbott s Division of Hospital Products is made up of five main divisions including Intensive and Palliative Care Oncology Vascular Medicine Renal Medicine and Pharmaceutical Delivery The division provides employment to 13 000 people in eleven different places around the world In 1999 the division s sales amounted to two billion dollars Abbott is a company specializing in global health diversified and dedicated to the discovery development manufacture and commercialization of hospital

    Original URL path: http://www.ticonet.co.cr/costa-rica/readings/000317.html (2015-06-03)
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  • Costa Rica Business
    Chief 1 043 1 293 1 507 18 1 Telemarketing Agent In Charge 608 753 878 10 5 Customer Service Agent 595 737 859 10 3 Sales Agent 1092 1 353 1 577 18 9 Source Consulting Companies Surveys for first semester 2000 Exchange rate for calculations 307 67 colones U S rate for June 19 2000 1 Social medical fringe benefits and workers compensation insurance 23 90 2 Included Christmas bonus 1month salary and reserves for vacations 3 85 and severance 8 33 Incentives for foreign investment Costa Rica has taken an active stance in attracting foreign investment since the beginning of the eighties Costa Rica was the first country in Central America to make a conscious effort to attract direct foreign investment Different incentive programs were enacted at the time as well as promotional programs to position Costa Rica internationally Under Costa Rica s legal framework there are no performance requirements or minimum investment levels for foreign investors in any activity Investment incentives are available for activities directly related to the export of services and or products from Costa Rica These incentives are the Free Zone system the Continuous Product Development program and the Duty Reimbursement program each one regulated by its own legal framework All countries agreed with WTO World Trade Organization to eliminate some of the incentives given to exporters and investors in the year 2003 CINDE and the Government of Costa Rica are working to increase the competitiveness of the country and offer alternative incentives allowed by the WTO to actual and future investors Free Zone System The Free Zone System export processing zones is the mainstay of Costa Rica s export and investment promotion strategy The Free Zones are by definition areas of customs and fiscal extra territoriality These facilities have been designated to carry on operations based on importing raw materials manufacturing assembly and marketing of products or services for export Tax exemption ease of operation and monetary exchange excellent telecommunications public service infrastructure and basic service facilities constitute the cornerstone of development for the companies that operate under the Free Zone Regulations To be eligible for Free Zone Status companies must make an initial investment of at least US 150 000 in an Industrial Park or US 2 000 000 outside an Industrial Park This system allows companies to enjoy the widest range of benefits currently available in the country Among the fiscal benefits granted under the provisions of the Free Zone legislation are 1 100 exemption from import duties on raw materials parts and components 100 exemption on taxes on profits for 8 years and 50 for the following 4 years One to four years of 75 exemption on taxes on profits in case of reinvestment Exemption from taxes on remittances abroad 100 exemption from export taxes 100 exemption from sales tax on local purchases of goods and services 100 exemption on capital taxes Possibility to sell to exporters within Costa Rica Possibility to sell up to 25 in the local market Operational incentives such as on site and expedite customs clearance are available Location in less developed areas of the country such as the port city of Puntarenas insures additional incentives 100 exemption of taxes on profits for 12 years and 50 for the following 6 years Job bonus 5 year Government partial payback of net payroll starting at 10 and decreasing at 2 per year Subsidized training program the Government of Costa Rica will pay every new direct worker for up to six months while receiving free on site training provided by the National Training Institute Most of the parks are located near San Jose with the exception of Puntarenas Free Zone which is located close to the main port on the Pacific Coast approximately 65 miles from San Jose These industrial parks can accommodate anything from the simplest to the most sophisticated building requirements of companies within the highest standards of construction Costa Rican building standards meet and usually exceed U S codes There are twelve Free Trade Zone Parks in operation in Costa Rica Continuous Product Development The Continuous Product Development program allows the exporter to import tax free all machinery equipment raw materials and semi elaborated products necessary for the production process This program has two chapters Full re export Companies subscribing to this program can bypass all taxes on production inputs provided their total output is re exported Once inside Costa Rica the materials can be processed repaired assembled incorporated into other products and finally re exported Customs procedures have also been streamlined so the materials can be transported directly from the port or airport to the company if the importer has previously presented the necessary documents reducing the waiting time and the risk of merchandise loss Re export and Central American or local sale This chapter allows companies selling part of their production in local or Central American markets to have access to export incentives Although inputs for re export remain duty free full tariffs and domestic taxes must be paid for the portion of exportable output that is retained for sale in the local market Regional tariffs must also be paid for products exported within Central America Reimbursement of Duties The Reimbursement of Duties incentive program is an addendum to the General Customs Law Beneficiaries are reimbursed for taxes paid on inputs such as containers packaging crates and other similar inputs incorporated into export products Excluded from this program are products used in processes that modify their nature transformation elaboration combination mixture etc or when they are used in the commercial transport or manipulation of the finished goods Machinery and equipment are also excluded from this program Reimbursement must be requested within a twelve month period Exporters must guarantee customs authorities that inputs containers packaging and crates were indeed exported as part of the final product Export Incentives by System 1 INCENTIVES FREE ZONE SYSTEM CONTINUOUS PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM ACTIVE FINISHING REGIME REIMBURSE MENT OF DUTIES PROGRAM FULL RE EXPORT PARTIAL RE EXPORT IMPORT DUTIES ON RAW MATERIALS COMPONENTS PACKAGING MACHINERY AND EQUIPMENT USED IN PRODUCTION PROCESS 100 exemption 100 exemption 100 exemption on re exported portion Must pay duties on products for local or Central American sale Reimbursement of duties paid for packaging containers and similar inputs TAXES ON PROFITS According to location and reinvestment See table 1 Full rate Full rate EXPORT TAXES 100 exemption 100 exemption Exemption proportional to export sales Full rate SALES AND EXCISE TAXES ON LOCAL PURCHASES 100 exemption Full rate Full rate CAPITAL TAXES 100 exemption for 10 years Full rate Full rate REAL ESTATE PROPERTY TAX only for owners 0 25 0 25 0 25 TAXES ON PROFIT REPATRIATION 100 exemption CAPITAL REPATRIATION No restriction No restriction No restriction MANAGEMENT OF FOREIGN CURRENCY Free CUSTOMS SERVICE Expedited on site Streamlined procedures Normal procedure SALES TO EXPORTERS WITHIN COSTA RICA Yes Not allowed SALES TO LOCAL MARKET Up to 25 of production Not allowed Allowed Must pay duties Allowed Must pay duties TIME LIMITATION Indefinite 6 months for raw materials packaging etc 5 years for machinery equipment etc Reimbursement must be requested within 12 months ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS PROCEDURES Initial investment of at least US 150 000 in an Industrial Park or US 2 000 000 outside an Industrial Park Product must undergo substantial transformation to qualify for incentives Present application to PROCOMER Operation Manager Registration in Customs General Directorate Registration in Customs General Directorate EXEMPTION OF IMPORT DUTIES ON VEHICLES 100 exemption trucks and chassis for trucks 1 2 ton pick ups and vehicles for more than 15 passengers Not applicable Not applicable TRAINING ASSISTANCE THROUGH INA National Training Institute Request to Free Zone Administrator In less developed communities 3 6 month subsidy for trainee wages Available through normal INA procedures Available through normal INA procedures LEGAL BASIS Law 7210 Nov 23 90 Law 7293 Mar 31 92 Law 7467 Dec 20 94 Law 7638 Oct 30 96 Law 7830 Oct 8 98 General Customs Law art 179 186 Nov 8 95 Regulations to the General Customs Law art 496 509 Jun 28 96 Decree 26285 H COMEX Aug 19 97 General Customs Law art 190 191 Nov 8 95 10 year exemption for companies established before June 19 1995 Except for Export traders Service Companies may sell up to 50 in the local market Beneficiaries according to the Law 1 Companies that manufacture process or assemble goods for export or re export Export traders commercial export companies that simply handle re pack or redistribute non traditional goods and products for export or re export Service companies that export services to individuals or companies established abroad or that supply services to firms operating under Free Zone Regime Banking financial and insurance entities installed in a Free Trade Zone as well as individuals or companies that provide professional services are not eligible to receive the benefits provided by this status Companies that manage parks dedicated to the installation of Free Zone Regime companies Firms or organizations dedicated to scientific research that contributes to improving Costa Rica s technological levels in industry agro industrial activities or foreign trade Companies operating shipyards and dry or floating docks for the construction repair or maintenance of vessels Different incentives according to location Non Designated Areas Communities With Greater Relative Development Designated Areas Communities With Less Relative Development Taxes on profits Initial investment 100 exemption for 8 years 50 for another 4 years 100 exemption for 12 years 50 for another 6 years Reinvestment during years 4 to 8 75 exemption for 1 to 4 years years 9 to 13 according to reinvestment amount 75 exemption for 1 to 4 years years 13 to 17 according to reinvestment amount Job bonus Percentage of net payroll paid back by Government 5 years of job bonus equal to 10 of the net payroll during the first year and decreasing 2 per year These exemptions do not include export traders commercial export companies Free Zone Parks Availability and Cost Current Prices in Free Zone Industrial Parks Minimum Maximum Rent per square meter per month Industrial Space 3 50 5 00 Industrial Offices 4 50 12 00 Corporate Offices 12 00 18 00 Rent per square foot per year Industrial Space 3 90 5 57 Industrial Offices 5 02 13 38 Corporate Offices 13 38 20 07 Source AZOFRAS from information given by Park Managers Available Space in Free Zone Industrial Parks Free Zone Parks Buildings Area for Construction Comments m2 sq ft m2 sq ft Conair Turrialba N A N A 198 350 2 135 013 Availability for clients will be defined in the future Forum Inm Genesis N A N A 3 000 32 292 No buildings in stock Custom built for each client Global Park 3 000 32 292 100 000 1 076 387 Usual procedure is to custom build for each client Inversiones Zeta Cartago 1 350 14 531 15 000 161 458 Three 450 m2 4 844 sq ft buildings which will be ready approximately in June 2001 Inversiones Zeta La Valencia 800 8 611 3 000 32 292 Buildings in condominium which will be ready approximately in June 2000 Inversiones Zeta Montecillos 2 870 30 892 8 000 86 111 Two warehouses 1500 m2 16 146 sq ft and 1370 m2 14 746 sq ft Los Arallanes America 4 070 43 809 5 000 53 819 Only two buildings in stock Buildings are usually custom built for each client Metrozone 2 500 26 910 6 500 69 965 2000 m2 21 528 sq ft in warehouses 500 m2 5 382 sq ft in offices Saret Alajuela 2 685 28 901 N A N A One 1800 m2 19 375 sq ft building without divisions and 840 m2 9 042 sq ft in offices Saret Puntarenas Information pending Ultrapark 2 600 27 986 10 000 107 639 Buildings will be ready approximately in July 2000 Source AZOFRAS from information given by Park Managers 1 All countries agreed with WTO World Trade Organization to eliminate some of the incentives given to exporters and investors in the year 2003 CINDE and the Government of Costa Rica are working to increase the competitiveness of the country and offer alternative incentives allowed by the WTO to actual and future investors Infrastructure Costa Rica has one of the most advanced infrastructures in the Caribbean Basin particularly with regards to a highly reliable electric energy supply and a modern telecommunications network The latter includes direct dialing to any part of the world cellular telephone systems data transmission and facsimile facilities using both satellite and microwave links Given the abundance of water most electricity is generated from hydroelectric sources and is supplied at 110 volts 60 cycles or at the requested voltage by a particular company Rates for industrial operations are between 0 05 to 0 09 per Kwh depending on location A state of the art fiber optic network telecommunications system is in place for the Grand Metropolitan Area all industrial parks in the San Jose metropolitan area are serviced by the network there is direct dialing to every country computerized packet switching frame relay and dedicated satellite lines for voice data and video transmission ISDN capabilities are available The reliable supply of oil and its by products satisfies all industries internal combustion and transportation requirements Well maintained highways and roads connect the country from coast to coast and to the rest of the Americas via the Interamerican Highway There are two international airports one in San Jose through which all air freight is exported and one in the city of Liberia in the northwestern part of the country catering exclusively to tourism The Juan Santamaria International Airport has been upgraded and equipped to service the needs of demanding import export operations It is serviced by 19 passenger airlines some of which are also cargo carriers and by 12 air cargo airlines There are direct flights to the following cities Panama City Managua San Salvador Guatemala City Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula in Honduras Belize Mexico City San Juan Puerto Rico Santo Domingo Dominican Republic Bogota Medellin Cali and Cartagena in Colombia Caracas Venezuela Santiago Chile Quito Ecuador Lima Perï ½ Rio de Janeiro Amsterdam Dusseldorf Munich and Madrid In the U S Dallas Houston Los Angeles San Francisco Miami Orlando Atlanta New York Washington and New Orleans Costa Rica has one main port on each coast on the Caribbean and the Pacific which offer access from Costa Rica to any market in the world Limon Moin on the Caribbean Atlantic coast handles approximately 80 of ocean freight exports Puntarenas Caldera on the other hand is on the Pacific Coast Overland trucking time from port to port is approximately 6 hours Well known international carriers such as Sea Land Maersk Nedlloyd Dole Shipping and Seaboard Marine provide transportation services to ports in Central America and the Caribbean and American ports of entry like Miami Wilmington Camden Houston New Orleans Charleston Savannah Philadelphia Bridgeport and Long Beach California As a reference usual transit time to Miami is 5 days TELECOMMUNICATION SERVICES RADIOGRAFICA COSTARRICENSE RACSA Operating since 1921 Radiografica Costarricense S A RACSA is the government agency responsible for telecommunications In tune with the times since 1991 international communication services have been provided by this agency through several earth stations teleports linked to Intelsat AOR 307 Solidaridad II and PAS 1 satellite from PANAMSAT RACSA works in conjunction with worldwide carriers in the United States and Latin America such as MCI AT T IDB WORLDCOM TELEGLOBE GUATEL SATEL AMERICATEL PANAMSAT ATSI CHARTER Services RACSA offers a wide variety of services to match specific customer needs Some of these are Dedicated Internet Access Digital point to point links Transportation Networks with fiber and wireless digital technology Frame Relay TDMA Leased Channels using satellite facilities RACSASAT VSAT networks X 25 networks Additionally RACSASAT Teleports offer I B S services and connects its customers point to point by addressing private communication needs RACSASAT is possible through ground stations located in downtown San Jose Pavas and industrial parks all of which are interconnected through Racsa s digital networks Whenever clients require the service Racsa connects them to the nearest station through copper or optic fiber cable or through wireless links The service is specifically designed to service banks trans national corporations shipping companies exporters scientific organizations government institutions and any other type of company with a high volume of international communications Applications The RACSA S A T link aids the Costa Rican business sector with applications that include among others the following High and medium speed data transmission LAN and information systems interconnection Audio and video teleconferencing Corporate e mail Data processing Electronic fund transfers Remote processing 800 remote service Remote telemarketing Simultaneous applications for voice data fax video and corporate communications systems Interconnection with corporate Intranets Benefits Satellite transmission of data voice and video is not limited by time or space Among RACSASAT s most important advantages are the following Significant savings on telephone calls and fax transmission Fixed monthly rates Digital network interconnection between subsidiaries and headquarters 24 hours a day 365 days a year Transparent integration of the company s switchboards and equipment when its offices are located in two different countries Premium quality excellent transmission speed and reliable technical support service Multiple satellite routes PANAMASAT INTELSAT and SOLIDARITY II make the system globally redundant Transparent transport of any protocol Minimum requirements Local linkage to digital networks coordinated by RACSA A standard physical interface G703 V 35 or RS 232 in the company s communications equipment multiplexer or modem The company s terminal voice fax or data equipment must be compatible at both ends of the link switchboard router multiplexer etc The services are offered to more than 35 companies that have been established in Costa Rica among which are Dole Fresh Fruit Unisys 3M Bourns Trimpot Hanes Sara Lee Knits Sykes Visa Intel Mastercard Espion Coca Cola Inter American Point of contact For information on current rates or details

    Original URL path: http://www.ticonet.co.cr/costa-rica/readings/0001.html (2015-06-03)
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  • Costa Rica FY2000
    poultry and from 106 percent to 96 percent for dairy products The tariff rate for these products is scheduled to decline to a maximum of 150 percent for poultry and of 65 percent for dairy by 2001 C FRANCHISING The current growth of franchising is slowing as the fast food sector becomes saturated and matures The first franchise to enter the market was McDonald s in 1970 and others quickly followed Pizza Hut entered the market in 1972 and now has 36 stores with six mobile units Other American pizza franchises have followed but have entered into the market with little success Because Pizza Hut entered the market first they were able to develop brand recognition and customer loyalty giving Pizza Hut a competitive advantage Very recently one local newspaper devoted to business related articles announced the opening of three new fast food franchises Denny s Friday s and Wendy s to start operations this year and in the first months of the year 2000 Denny s will start operations in September of this year with an investment of US 2 1 million Their plans are to open five restaurants in a period of seven years T G I Friday s will open its first restaurant in early 2000 Wendy s is in the process of brand registration in Costa Rica and expects to open operation in the year 2000 Price as in any market is a major competitive factor Costa Ricans are very price conscious and savvy shoppers They are generally aware of what items cost in the U S and how the same or similar items are priced in Costa Rica While they are willing to pay slightly more for the perceived quality of an American product they will not pay too much more as most Costa Ricans are on tight budgets and know value A key success factor for franchisers considering entry into the Costa Rican market is careful selection of franchisees The right franchisee must have the financial resources to enter and develop the market as well as local business contacts and an understanding of the intricacies of the local market In Costa Rica business contacts can greatly affect the success of a project This can come into play for example in developing local sources of supplies expediting government approval and licensing and in gaining access to prime locations for establishing a franchise site One local franchisee claimed for example that a competitor was able through his personal business contacts to prevent his franchise from entering a major mall for two years Another reason for care in selecting franchisees relates to Costa Rican law Costa Rican Law 6209 which protects distributors and agents is viewed by the courts as protecting franchisees as well This law tends to favor the local franchisee and can make it very expensive for a foreign franchiser to end a relationship with a local franchisee for reasons other than nonpayment of royalties There are continuing opportunities for growth and expansion of franchising in Costa Rica and the Latin American market Entrepreneurs here corporate and individual appreciate the mature business systems and proven track record that selective franchises offer Franchise marketing requires sensitivity to the need to adapt to the Latin culture such as adding local foods to the menu or translating manuals catalogs into Spanish Because of Costa Rica s small size an exclusive territorial contract is often preferred by those marketing franchises as well as by interested investors Some successful franchise operations involve investor groups who have purchased master franchise rights for the entire Central American region Many times a franchisee will own several different types of franchises in different industry sectors as a way to diversify their investments For example a businessman may own clothing fast food and retail technology franchises A new group of investors that is emerging includes young professionals who are very familiar with the U S and who are looking to break away from their family businesses in order to start something of their own They also view franchising as a way to enter into a market without having a great deal of knowledge of an industry This is why they view quality dedicated franchiser support as critical to success The typical franchisee also does not attend franchise shows The Internet is the number one source of information for local franchisees on potential new franchises Potential franchisees will usually analyze the local market themselves determine what franchise concepts are most attractive for the local market using their personal knowledge of popular and successful franchises in the U S market They will then typically contact ten or so different franchise companies in that market segment for comparison purposes The second most popular way potential franchisees make contact with franchisers is when a particular franchiser comes to Costa Rica looking for investors franchisees and contacts them directly Though it is often difficult to identify business people who have the interest business experience and resources to develop and manage new franchise concepts the Commercial Section of the U S Embassy can assist with introductions and information on tactics used to reach potential franchisees The franchise market in Costa Rica is developing at a steady pace dominated by the fast food sector There are approximately thirty franchise retail businesses operating in Costa Rica with nearly half of them fast food specialty food enterprises Franchises in Costa Rica employ approximately 4 000 Costa Ricans It is estimated that less than twenty percent of these franchises are locally owned and the remaining eighty percent are foreign owned of this percentage ninety percent are U S franchises Following are the U S companies with franchise operations in Costa Rica FRANCHISOR FRANCHISE TYPE Comp USA Technology retailer Century 21 Real Estate Remax Real Estate Cinemark Movie Theaters Marriott Hotel Aurola Holiday Inn Hotel Aurola Playa Flamingo Hotel Best Western Jaco Beach Hotel Best Western Tamarindo Hotel Best Western San Jose Hotel Best Western Irazu Hotel Camino Real Inter Continental Hotel Hampton Inn Hotel Melia Playa Conchal Hotel Melia Confort Corobici Hotel Melia El Tucano Resort Hotel Quality Centro Colon Hotel Radisson Europa Hotel Ace Home Mart Cemaco Hardware TCBY Frozen Dessert Taco Bell Fast Food Subway Fast Food Pizza Hut Fast Food McDonald s Fast Food Kentucky Fried Chicken Fast Food Hardee s Fast Food Domino s Pizza Fast Food Burger King Fast Food Papa John s Fast Food Radio Shack Electronic Retailer Dry Cleaners USA Dry Cleaning Martinizing Dry Cleaning Liz Claiborne Clothing EcoLab Cleaning supplies Denny s Casual Dining Hallmark Cards Gifts Avis Car Rental Budget Car Rental Dollar Car Rental Economy Car Rental Hertz Car Rental National Car Rental Thrifty Car Rental Deloitte Touche Business Services Dun Bradstreet Business Services Peat Marwick Business Services Price Waterhouse Business Services Sir Speedy Printing Business Services New Horizons Business Services Shell Gas Station Texaco Gas Station Franchise royalties are taxed a 25 percent withholding tax but the U S does give a foreign tax credit for this expense Import taxes vary as to the item the trend is toward lower import taxes The following are approximate Value Added sales Tax 13 percent Ad valorem import duty Tax 1 50 percent depending on item Special one percent import tax 1 percent D DIRECT MARKETING Direct marketing is a relatively new concept in Costa Rica Since the country does not enjoy a postal mailing system with defined street names and numbers it is difficult to obtain client lists or reliable addresses There is no law that regulates direct marketing In the absence of a specific law direct marketing as a method of selling is presently regulated by the general law that applies to publicity and publicity agencies E JOINT VENTURES LICENSING Licensing is not widespread in Costa Rica Traditionally foreign companies have exported to Costa Rica or set up manufacturing assembly operations in the country either independently or through joint venture arrangements Foreigners may legally own Costa Rican companies or equity therein and may invest in all areas not expressly reserved for state or parastatal entities Foreign corporations may be organized legally in several ways as branches except for banks joint ventures wholly owned subsidiaries or locally incorporated companies Bona fide investments are encouraged and promoted actively by the Costa Rican government F STEPS TO ESTABLISHING AN OFFICE The most important provisions affecting business law are contained in the Costa Rican Mercantile and Civil Codes The first step in establishing a business in Costa Rica is to obtain the assistance of a Notary Public the only professional authorized by law to register a company Companies must be recorded in the Costa Rican Mercantile Registry in order to be a legal authorized entity At registration all information related to the new company and the persons who will administer the company must be submitted including the full name nationality occupation civil status domicile the legal form of the business being organized purpose of the company amount of capital and the manner in which this capital is to be paid time limits for payments domicile of the company and any other agreements made by the founders An extract of the registration is then published in La Gaceta the official legal journal Payment on initial equity usually nominal must be expressed in local currency and deposited with a local bank of the Costa Rican National System until registration is completed Initial equity payment is generally 100 to 1 000 Depending on the type of business the company may have to acquire a municipal patent or permit A foreign enterprise that has or intends to open branches in Costa Rica must appoint and retain a legal representative with full Power of Attorney concerning the business or the branch Similar to U S law foreigners must become residents in order to work in Costa Rica Individuals interested in establishing a business in Costa Rica are encouraged to contact CINDE Costa Rican Coalition for Development Initiatives and or PROCOMER Costa Rican Foreign Trade Corporation Both organizations are involved in providing support and information for prospective investors to Costa Rica Each organization maintains extensive information data bases that are useful to potential investors in evaluating operating costs taxation issues availability of employees and related investment questions Please see Appendix E for full contact information for representatives of these organizations in Costa Rica and in the U S G SELLING FACTORS TECHNIQUES As in the U S purchase decisions by Costa Ricans are based generally on comparisons of price quality technical specifications convenience and the availability of local product support or after sale service U S exporters to Costa Rica must be willing to make smaller sales than those to which they may be accustomed in larger markets Costa Rica s GDP is roughly US 10 billion with a population of approximately 3 5 million people Sales catalogs and brochures should be translated into Spanish Products must be price competitive Terms of payment for purchases above four thousand dollars are generally transacted through irrevocable letters of credit Open account payment terms are reserved generally for well known and well established customers Insurance on accounts receivable is available through the Export Import Bank of the U S Payment for small purchases is usually direct Business in Costa Rica as in other Latin American countries is conducted and based on the establishment of personal relationships The Costa Rican business community places great importance on personal contacts with foreign suppliers New U S suppliers exporters should be prepared to travel to Costa Rica periodically and follow up with customers regularly through contacts by fax telephone and or e mail A patient sales approach is preferred to a hard sell approach Again U S firms can maximize their export sales possibilities and longevity in the Costa Rican market through a local representative H ADVERTISING AND TRADE PROMOTION LISTING OF MAJOR NEWSPAPERS AND BUSINESS JOURNALS Advertising Costa Rican newspapers are among the best ways to promote sales of products or services Depending on the target market advertising is also effective in magazines produced by organizations like the Costa Rican American Chamber of Commerce AmCham the Chamber of Commerce of Costa Rica and other specialized chambers business associations Major Costa Rican newspapers in order of circulation include La Nacion Apartado 10138 1000 San Jose Costa Rica Tel 506 247 4747 Switchboard 506 247 4949 Advertising Fax 506 247 4849 Web Site www nacion co cr Al Dia Apartado 7 0270 1000 San Jose Costa Rica Tel 506 247 4666 Fax 506 247 4669 La Republica Apartado 2130 1000 San Jose Costa Rica Tel 506 223 0266 Fax 506 222 7665 Administration or 257 0401 or 255 4049 Advertising Web Site www larepublica net La Prensa Libre Apartado 177 1009 1000 San Jose Costa Rica Tel 506 223 6666 Fax 506 222 8938 Web Site www prensalibre co cr The Tico Times the nation s most popular English language newspaper Apartado 4632 1000 San Jose Costa Rica Tel 506 258 1558 Fax 506 233 6378 E mail ttimes racsa co cr Web Site www ticotimes co cr Partial list of specialized industry specific and other commercial publications Actualidad Economica Chamber of Commerce of Costa Rica Apartado 10096 1000 San Jose Costa Rica Tel 506 224 2411 ext 228 Fax 506 225 7365 E mail entretenimiento trejos co cr Web Site www actualidad co cr Business Costa Rica Costa Rican American Chamber of Commerce Aerocasillas AMCHAM Costa Rica SJO 1576 P O Box 025216 Miami FL 33102 5216 Tel 506 220 2200 Costa Rica Fax 506 220 2300 Costa Rica E mail asibaja amcham co cr Web Site www amcham co cr Alimentaria Chamber of Food Industry of Costa Rica Apartado 7097 1000 San Jose Costa Rica Tel 506 234 1127 Fax 506 234 6783 E mail caciali sol racsa co cr Oportunidades Comerciales Chamber of Representatives of Foreign Firms CRECEX Apartado 3738 1000 San Jose Costa Rica Tel 506 253 0126 Fax 506 234 2557 E mail crecex sol racsa co cr Web Site www infoweb co cr crecex Camara Costarricense de la Construccion Chamber of Construction Apartado 5260 1000 1000 San Jose Costa Rica Tel 506 253 5757 or 381 3614 Fa 506 221 7952 La Industria Chamber of Industry of Costa Rica Apartado 10003 1000 San Jose Costa Rica Tel 506 285 3779 Fax 506 222 1007 E mail camind sol racsa co cr Web Site www cicr or cr Especiales Revista Rumbo published by Newspaper La Nación Apartado 1517 1100 San Jose Costa Rica Tel 506 247 4402 Fax 506 247 4477 El Financiero Business Finance and Economy themes Apartado 185 2120 Guadalupe San Jose Costa Rica Tel 506 256 3956 Fax 506 256 3955 U S firms with representation in Costa Rica can broaden their promotional efforts by advertising selectively in these newspapers and commercial publications TRADE PROMOTION In addition to the traditional range of U S Department of Commerce export promotion services provided to U S firms in Costa Rica through partnership with the U S based network of U S Export Assistance Centers the Department s Commercial Section in San Jose can assist U S firms through trade missions participation in local trade shows matchmaker events seminars conferences catalog shows and business receptions all of which are conducted periodically on a cost recovery basis with pre approved budgets There is a limited number of privately organized trade promotion events in Costa Rica The private trade fair organizer FERCORI has at least one international trade fair every two years The next international trade fair is scheduled for March 2000 For further information contact FERIAS INTERNACIONALES S A FERCORI Apartado 1843 1000 San Jose Costa Rica Contact Lic Flor Carreras President Tel 506 233 6990 or 233 6631 Fax 506 233 5791 Web Site http www fercori co cr fercori html There is a computer oriented event FERCOMPUTO organized by a private enterprise Sistema Empresarial which invites international participation and is scheduled for February 2000 For more information contact FERCOMPUTO Apdo 2219 1000 San Jose Costa Rica Tel 506 273 4545 xt 105 Fax 506 273 1010 Contact Ms Marta Sancho General Manager Email sercsa sol racsa co cr There is a Hotel trade event EXPO HOTEL organized by the Costa Rican Chamber of Hotels This exposition is open to trade representatives as well to the general public and is scheduled for the first week of April 2000 For further information contact EXPO HOTEL Camara Costarricense de Hoteles CCH Apdo 8422 1000 San Jose Costa Rica Tel 506 290 4757 Fax 506 290 5434 E mail info costaricanhotels com Web Site costaricanhotels com Contact Ms Ana Gabriela Alfaro Executive Director The Costa Rican Association of Professionals in the Tourism Sector organizes the international show Expotur The main purpose of the show is to promote Costa Rican tourism facilities and sites among foreign wholesalers and travel agents The next show is scheduled for May 21 26 2000 For more information contact EXPOTUR SJO 3445 P O Box 025216 Miami Florida 33102 5216 Att Ms Xiomara Murillo M Mr Pablo Solano Event Director Tel Fax 506 280 5375 Toll free USA only 1 888 EXPOTUR 397 6887 Fax 510 792 5249 E mail acoprot sol racsa co cr Web Site http www acoprot org The private organization VISIT USA Costa Rica promotes travel and tourism to the U S and hosts a trade event each year The next show is scheduled for April 2000 For more information contact VISIT USA COSTA RICA Apdo 11631 1000 San Jose Costa Rica Tel 506 257 4782 or 233 9600 Fax 506 223 2703 Contact Ms Alicia Lines President E mail visitusa sol racsa co cr P O Box Account Nbr 305 P O Box 025369 Miami FL 33102 I PRICING PRODUCTS Prices of products imported into Costa Rica are typically based on the CIF value plus importation taxes customs agent fees in country transportation costs and other product related costs Product prices are not regulated by the Costa Rican government The Costa Rican

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  • The Barva Site of Braulio Carrillo National Park, Costa Rica
    do come to the Barva site Description of site The Barva site of the Braulio Carrillo National Park is located 22 kilometers north of the capital city of San Jose The land within its southwestern area has 4 volcanic peaks one of which measures 2 840 meters The now dormant Barva Volcano is a main attraction to that area Its volcanic eruptions have not occurred for some 3 000 to 5 000 years Another part of this secluded area includes a mountain range containing a trio of peaks commonly known as The Three Marys which stand at 2 900 meters Barva has a cloud forest and several riparian settings where numerous rivers and streams spring It is a habitat for the Quetzal as well as many other birds mammals and reptiles Valerio 1999 A former administrator of the area stated that by law a diameter of 2 kilometers around all craters in Costa Rica were declared to be national parks However the Barva volcano was not considered a national park while neighboring volcanoes Iraizu and Poas were Due to the difficulty of access and the protection of some of the land owners Barva was kept in relatively good condition and was officially acknowledged as part of a national park in 1978 Herrera 1999 Research Objectives Determine a relevant profile of visitors to Braulio Carrillo National Park within its Barva Site during the high tourist season Determine the importance and performance of site specific park qualities in addition to the visitors perception of park management Produce information from this study in order to make recommendations to be taken into consideration for a future park management plan for the Barva site Research Design According to Ritchie and Goelner 1994 pp 15 this type of research follows under the category of managerial research The authors attempted to determine if visitors to the Barva site perceived a need for changes including those in infrastructure Some decision makers in this park s administration believe that Barva should be similar in those services and infrastructure offered at Poas National Park Campos 1999 The single research instrument used was a written questionnaire available in the English and Spanish languages given to participants at the end of their visit to the park for completion Using bilingual English and Spanish speakers the instrument was pre tested for language continuity before being distributed Each survey respondent was presented with a list of 14 different potential motivations for coming to the park Each of these questions used the 5 point Likert scale where 5 indicated that the respondent would strongly agree 4 indicated that he she agrees 3 indicated neither agrees nor disagrees 2 indicated he she disagrees and 1 indicated he she strongly disagrees The importance of aspects which provided a pleasant visitor experience were determined with 14 variables These were measured with a 5 point Likert scale which ranged from highest importance 5 strong importance 4 importance 3 low importance 2 and not of importance 1 Performance of the aspects of the park were determined using a 5 point Likert scale ranging from excellent performance 5 good performance 4 satisfactory importance 3 unsatisfactory importance 2 and poor performance 1 Following this a set of 21 items were presented in the survey which measured the importance of some recreational activities and forms of infrastructure that MINAE is considering to add to the park Visitors were able to state how important each potential recreational implementation would be to their level of future enjoyment of Barva This section was based on the same 5 point Likert scale that was used in the importance identification questions For each question that employed the Likert scale only those responses with means higher than 3 50 were considered to be of greatest significance to the study Contact Methodology Due in part to information on visitor response rates and human interaction in Latin America Mintzer Swift 1994 at least one person was consistently needed to administer survey distribution One researcher was on site to hand out surveys to visitors on Fridays Saturdays and Sundays and park rangers distributed them from Tuesday until Friday afternoon when a researcher would arrive The Barva site is closed on Mondays Its hours of operation are 8 a m to 4 p m Sampling Survey distribution began on February 5 1999 and was completed on April 7 1999 within the time frame considered to be Costa Rica s high tourist season Because the Barva site receives so few visitors questionnaires were given to each willing person alone or in visitor groups with no discretionary basis Research Findings and Discussion Profile of Visitors Means of arrival A total of 124 visitors contributed to this study 48 were female and 52 were male The mean age was 28 years old 53 4 of the visitors arrived on foot 17 8 by bus 24 by car 2 1 by taxi 1 33 by rental car and 1 37 in an official vehicle The results show that visitors were young adults that walked relatively long distances and harsh roads to get to the park Education Levels Trends in this category indicated that 78 visitors had experienced some level of university education 33 9 who had not yet completed these studies The highest level of education for 17 3 of users was graduation from college 11 had completed Masters degrees and 7 9 had obtained doctorate or post doctorate degrees 15 of the users had graduated from high school 3 9 from a technical high school and 3 1 from elementary education These results are in agreement with Hendee s 1990 and others Roggenbuck and Lucas 1987 evaluations of nature recreationists education levels There was no difference for education levels of Costa Ricans compared with those education levels of users from other countries Nationality Costa Ricans are the area s primary users most of them living in the province of Heredia 66 4 of respondents were from Costa Rica 61 of which were residents of Heredia 33 6 were from other countries Among the foreigners the highest percentage 19 5 was from the United States Motivations Table 1 Motivations Users Had to Visit Barva Site Variable Mean SD Enjoy a natural setting Be physically active Be outdoors Learn about nature Get away from the daily routine Be with my friends Relax Have peace and quiet Participate in park activities Have a picnic Meet new people Be with my family Play a sport Drink alcoholic beverages 4 51 4 31 4 30 4 22 4 19 4 09 4 01 3 83 3 47 3 44 2 98 2 30 2 38 1 53 1 01 0 93 1 28 1 07 99 1 28 1 22 1 49 1 33 1 34 1 49 1 60 1 51 1 23 The motivations users most strongly identified with their visit are presented in Table 1 According to Hull 1989 pp 486 487 the descriptions of products or benefits to be derived from the visual quality of a recreational attraction are quality of outdoor recreation emotion appearance of forest mental and physical health among others The study shows that of the products of visual quality those items related to emotional reaction had the highest agreement scores Perhaps the products of the Barva experience are outside the range of feelings a person experience on a daily basis Enjoy a natural setting had the highest score 4 51 and relax 4 01 was also important Another product that was relevant for the visitors was their physical health Items to be considered in this category are to be physically active 4 31 and to be outdoors 4 30 The last product considered important for this study was mental health Visitors reported going to the Barva site in order to get away from daily routine 4 19 and to be with friends 4 09 both of which elicit emotional responses not felt on a daily basis These motivations should not be ignored as indeed parks are ultimately social constructs they are inventions created by society as a means of ensuring certain values deemed important that society including recreational scientific educational and economic To misunderstand or ignore the social definitions underlying such areas is ironically to jeopardize the very values for which they were created McCool and Stankey 1993 Results show that visitors revealed that a key outcome for that day was to experience a natural setting This is a remote location with a main trail that is relatively steep when hiking towards the lake and volcano area it is not surprising that visitors ranked to Be physically active as the second highest motivation for visiting the site The fact that most people arrived with at least one other person shows that acquaintances seek to share this wilderness space together in search of friendship It is clear that visitors do not go to this site to be with their families and they are not interested in playing sports or drinking alcoholic beverages Barva is a place visited to enjoy the magnificence of the volcano its lake flora and fauna Management Table 2 Importance Given by Visitors to Aspects of Barva Site Variable Mean SD A natural setting Lack of litter No vandalism Silence and tranquility Nature Trails Aesthetics Courtesy of park rangers Trail Maintenance Rain shelters Availability of restrooms Ability to contribute donations Very few trash cans Ability to contribute by volunteering Not seeing hearing other people 4 67 4 63 4 59 4 56 4 48 4 35 4 31 4 25 3 83 3 70 3 69 3 47 3 33 3 14 0 08 0 73 0 95 0 74 0 80 1 03 0 86 0 92 1 24 1 33 1 23 1 28 1 34 1 35 People placed the highest level of importance on attractors such as the natural setting nature trails aesthetics silence and tranquility courtesy of park rangers trail maintenance rain shelters availability of restrooms and ability to contribute to the park through donations Table 2 Results found in this study agree with McCool and Stankey 1993 in terms of the importance of having nature trails to protect habitats from tourist impacts Participants also gave importance to the absence of detractors such as litter and vandalism The results of importance of park aspects considered as attractors increased the enjoyment of visitors This finding can be complemented with the comments they wrote at the end of their surveys in which some visitors recommended to keep the park as it is now and congratulate park rangers for the excellent work in preserving the environment Table 3 Performance Given by Visitors to Aspects of Barva Site Variable Mean SD Silence and tranquility Natural setting Aesthetics No vandalism no grafitti robbery Lack of litter Courtesy of park attendants Nature trails Availability of restrooms Trail maintenance Rain shelters Very few trash cans Ability to contribute donations Not seeing hearing other people Ability to contribute volunteering 4 60 4 57 4 54 4 53 4 51 4 49 4 23 4 12 3 98 3 95 3 90 3 90 3 68 3 49 0 65 0 67 0 80 0 81 0 72 0 76 0 99 0 96 0 94 1 11 1 11 1 04 1 14 1 19 From the high levels of importance that visitors gave the Barva site it could be said that the performance of these variables was also of good quality The singular variable which performed lower by this study s standards was the ability to contribute to the park through volunteering This variable s score correlates with the reality of the nonexistent volunteer situation at the Barva site It was also ranked among the lowest variables in visitor importance as well It is at this point that the study s results concerning a volunteer advisory board become relevant When asked about serving as a volunteer on a park advisory board 66 7 indicated no and 33 3 indicated yes Those who answered positively were asked to fill out a contact card attached to the last page of the survey Looking at the results eight out of fourteen aspects were rated with good performance Table 3 Among the highest values were silence and tranquility natural setting and aesthetics From the perspective of visitors this means that importance and performance of the site is contributing to the overall enjoyment of tourists One variable that ranked low in both importance and performance was Ability to contribute to the park through donations The reason for this result is that current laws prohibit on site donations Donors must go to MINAE s headquarters in San Jose to make any and all contributions This system is very limiting for those visitors who do not have the time nor the desire to go to MINAE s The study shows that visitors to the Barva site give importance to attributes that are maintained by people with environmental values Using Rokeach and Cadutto s 1985 environmental value classification these are a love for people most visitors were in groups of two or more a love for the Earth a world of beauty high scores of importance and performance were given to both a natural setting and aesthetics and Barva visitors recommended that very few interventions be made by park management a result of which may not dramatically affect the balance of the ecosystems there Desirability of Future Site Aspects Table 3 Desirability of Future Park Aspects Variable Mean SD Trashcans Garbage collection Lookout points Maps Environmental interpretation Rooms Easy access to the park Restrooms Printed materials Nature guides Children s play equipment Picnic tables Adequate parking Beverage sales Horseback rides Food sales Barbecue grills More rain shelters Open play areas Sports courts Soccer fields 4 33 4 11 4 06 3 99 3 97 3 74 3 71 3 66 3 58 3 50 3 36 3 15 3 02 3 00 2 85 2 79 2 58 2 54 2 37 2 02 1 95 1 10 1 19 1 07 1 09 1 09 1 42 1 35 1 39 1 29 1 25 1 51 1 34 1 56 1 47 1 47 1 41 1 52 1 24 1 39 1 45 1 45 These results tend to agree with both the current facilities at the Barva site and the profile of its visitors Respondents placed the most importance to having more trash cans and garbage collection available During the study litter was collected from trails and perhaps the visitors think that an increase of garbage collection and trash cans would reduce or eliminate the problem The fact that these were given importance by visitors could imply that they perceive litter as a potential problem in the park Before more trash cans are installed an educational campaign should be started in order to increase visitor awareness concerning the final disposition of their trash At this moment there is no public system for garbage collection and no solution its in the near future Therefore the pack it in pack it out philosophy should be encouraged for visitor behavior at this site Three items that could represent changes in the park which were recommended were lookout points rooms and restrooms These results partly agree with infrastructure suggested in the Diagnosis of Braulio Carrillo National Park Zuniga 1998 pp 25 Park managers recommend to build a basic shelter a visitor center with simple research facilities These constructions will provide rooms and restrooms which complement views of visitors Currently there are only two lookout or scenic view points and one bathroom accessible There are no types of rooms available for overnight use at this time However camping is permitted with a maximum capacity of 25 visitors Visitors also encouraged the adoption of more trash cans to the site and gave high importance to garbage collection As Barva currently exists there are only 3 trash receptacles which visitors have access to A need for more information and educational materials was also important Visitors placed a moderate degree of importance on maps and environmental interpretation as well as printed materials Park Management Issues Visitors perceptions of entrance fees 75 of visitors felt that the park entrance fee of 6 00 for foreigners 1 25 for residents and exchange students was fair while 16 believed it was very high and 8 5 believed it was very low 63 7 of visitors believed that the money the park received from entrance fees contributed to keeping it well maintained 11 3 of people disagreed with this philosophy and 25 were indifferent According to managerial dispositions in MINAE entrance fees received by all parks are channeled directly into one general park general management fund One question of importance to the MINAE agency is visitors willingness to pay more in entrance fees in the future cite This determining questioned was written as If additional money was put directly back into this park and if the increase was fair to me I would be willing to pay more to visit the park Some 30 4 responded negatively but the majority of visitors 69 6 responded positively Of those 69 6 of visitors 25 stated they would pay an increase of 0 55 22 would pay 1 10 more 22 would pay 1 38 more 22 would pay 2 20 more and 8 3 would pay 5 00 Any recommendations which could be made from the aforementioned information would be futile due to the current funding structure in place by park management As already stated one general fund for park management is responsible for receiving and allocating all park entrance fees Therefore even if the Barva site were to increase its entrance fees this would not guarantee that more funding would then be allocated for its many services The site managers should be able to comply with the recommendations made by Courrau 1997 pp 3 which stated that obtaining and organizing relative information to the natural processes as well as

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