Celebrity Cruises cancelled a planned call from the Celebrity Infinity in Puntarenas, Costa Rica, due to civil unrest in the area, a spokesperson for the cruise line tells Travel Agent. The stop had been scheduled for Monday, September 17. Instead, the ship called at Puerto Amador, Panama, on Tuesday, September 18.
According to The Tico Times, unions have been striking to protest a tax-reform bill since last Monday, September 10, with protests including roadblocks along major roadways, as well as demonstrations outside of government meetings. The strikes also disrupted the carrying of a torch of independence from Guatemala to Costa Rica, which is part of Costa Rica’s traditional Independence Day celebrations. Costa Rican President Carlos Alvarado has called on the Catholic Church and university presidents to serve as mediators between the government and the unions.
According to The Costa Rica Star, the Costa Rican National Tourism Chamber (CANATUR) has caused a 50 percent drop in sales of local travel agencies, as well as cancellation of tours and delays in the transportation of visitors to Costa Rica. CANATUR also said that the situation is affecting the country’s image, leading to losses for the travel and tourism sector.
“The country is in a critical moment, in which all citizens must commit to the benefit of the country, which means that we all have to give in to [a] certain degree,” said CANATUR President Sary Valverde in a statement provided to The Costa Rica Star. “We believe these types of demands and pressures of the labor unions are not the route towards solutions, but instead, going against the society and the national economy.”