For those of you that are not aware, Costa Rica is currently in full election mode with the primary presidential election being held this coming Sunday, February 2nd they same day as the Super Bowl. No big deal right… Wrong!
The current Costa Rican law says that municipalities can ban the sale of alcohol of election day. This has been the case for all of recent memory but is coming under fire with the election falling on the most watched event in the world, the Super Bowl. Currently 12 municipalities have said they will uphold the law much to the chagrin of The National Tourism Chamber (CANATUR) and local businesses alike.
This Sunday Ticos and Gringos from all of the world will be out at the bars, drinking, eating and most importantly spending money. The fear The National Tourism Chamber has is that by upholding this law it setting a clear president that tourism is a second class citizen to other business categories.
“The government is showing no consideration for the effects of this measure, which will harm tourism and restaurants that must refrain from providing services to people not involved (in the elections),” the chamber argued in a statement.
Costa Rican Chamber of Hotels (CCH) President Rubén Pacheco also showed criticism towards municipalities that plan on implementing the ban.
“This cannot continue; it seems like we are moving backwards in a country that is unaware of the importance of the tourism sector.”
Many business have spent the last month or more building buzz for the Super Bowl and designing marketing campaigns around the event. If this law were to be enforced it would prove as a clear message to expats and tourists who make up over 15% of the country that their traditions (and the Super Bowl is a big one for many) are not taken seriously by the Costa Rican government.
The big question is that since none of these expats will ever have a chance to vote does the Costa Rican government even care?