Economist and business administrator Gustavo Segura Sancho took office on July 8 as Costa Rica’s new minister of tourism, upon previous minister María Amalia Revelo Raventós’ resignation due to reasons related to health.
Segura, who has 23 years of experience in the tourism and hospitality industry, takes over the position with three major objectives in mind and in the midst of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, which has generated the worst crisis in the history of the country and its tourism sector. Those objectives are to achieve a gradual and safe reopening of international flights, to generate in the short term useful tools to alleviate the financial problems of the companies in the sector and to promote economic recovery measures while taking into account the importance of health management.
“I understand and share the emotional, physical and financial crisis of the stakeholders in the tourism industry. My goal is to strive to overcome the impacts that we are suffering as a result of the pandemic and to move forward. It will require a joint effort and a shared country vision,” said Mr. Segura, who was a member of the Costa Rican Tourism Institute’s board of directors between 2010 and 2016.
The new minister is an economics graduate of the University of Costa Rica and has a master’s degree in business administration from the INCAE Business School, with a specialization in sustainable development. Segura previously served as the CEO of the Islita Group and manager of the Hotel Asset Management Division of Cuestamoras, owners of the Marriott Los Sueños, Costa Rica Marriott Hacienda Belén, Andaz Península de Papagayo and Hyatt Andaz Pinares.
Segura is also a member of the INCAE Business School in the field of sustainable tourism, and has managed operations and consultancy services for organizations in the travel and tourism sector in several Latin American countries.
As far as his approach, Segura insists that coordination with the health authorities is crucial and that short-term pressure should not distract from the attention to medium and long-term issues, such as maintaining the country as a leader and competitive player in international tourism.