Monday, July 12, 2010
You can fool some of the people…….
According to a news report dated July 3, 2010 (Costa Rica's Tourist Arrivals Up 90.000 For 2010), at http://www.insidecostarica.com/dailynews/2010/july/03/costarica10070304.htm, there has been a significant increase in the actual numbers of tourists visiting Costa Rica for the first five months of this year.
The report says that there have been 954,314 total entries from Jan – May, an increase (as seen above) of some 90,000 for the same time period a year ago. I got to thinking about what those numbers mean in dollars, something that has been on my mind lately, anyway. For those who may not know it, the government of Costa Rica charges a $15.00/US fee on every plane ticket with either San Jose or Liberia as the destination. And, of course, it costs nearly double that much to leave the country, after a trip here ($26.00/US). Do you realize how much money we're talking about? Don't worry, I already got out my calculator, and did the math:
$14,314,710 - Jan – May (number of tourists times $15.00 per head)
$24,812,164 – Jan – May (number of tourists times $26.00 per head)
$39,126,874.00 (total collected from those unsuspecting tourists)
You might consider also, that on top of that pretty impressive amount, those tourists also pay a whole lot in sales taxes for lodging, car rentals, and the like. And, of course, the straight sales tax, on each and every purchase for everyone in the country, is around 13%. It is true that property taxes are very small, and there is no income tax, but one must wonder……….
That's less than half the year. So, my question is this: what is Costa Rica, the country, doing with nearly 80 million dollars of found money every year? I mean, it's not like they're providing anything like security for all those tourists, or in any other way protecting them from thieves, scam artists, and such. There's certainly nothing that might resemble any improvement in their infrastructure (most of which is crumbling around them), such as roads (the nation's newest road, which is closed as often as it is open, is a Toll Road, in case you were wondering), bridges, or anything else related to smooth transport. No such thing as public services, like modern ambulances, fire or police protection. Personally, I am mystified………….