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Wednesday,  June 12, 2024 11:47 PM 

Costa Rica informs & entertains Toronto agents

Costa Rica informs & entertains Toronto agents
Delegates meet at Costa Rica Tourism night at Novotel Toronto Centre last night (Oct 27).
Michael Pihach

Michael Pihach is an award-winning journalist with a keen interest in digital storytelling. In addition to PAX, Michael has also written for CBC Life, Ryerson University Magazine, IN Magazine, and Michael joins PAX after years of working at popular Canadian television shows, such as Steven and Chris, The Goods and The Marilyn Denis Show.

“Take two coffees in the morning and call me the next day,” Joshua Reyes told a room full of Toronto-based travel agents last night (Oct. 27), during a Costa Rica workshop held at Novotel Toronto Centre. “Our coffee is amazing!”

Costa Rica’s coffee scene was just one of many tourism opportunities Reyes, a conferences and tourist information rep in association with Costa Rica Tourism, highlighted in his presentation, which provided travel pros with a summary of the Central American country’s diverse regions, hotels and attractions.

IMG_9772.jpgJoshua Reyes, conferences and tourist information, Costa Rica Tourism

The night, which included drinks and dinner bolstered by traditional Costa Rican “pura vida!” (pure life) spirit, unfolded while Costa Rica’s latest tourism video, Save The Canadians, a playful parody of "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" featuring singing animals urging overworked and stressed-out people to take time off and relax, looped in the background.

The event also gave agents a chance to network with some of the country’s key tourism suppliers.

“We’re here to help travel agents know more about Costa Rica, have more contact with the companies [there], and give them knowledge on the best way to sell Costa Rica,” Carolina Ortega Mondragon, marketing executive, international events, at the Costa Rica Tourism Board told PAX.

IMG_9753.jpgCarolina Ortega Mondragon, marketing executive, international events, at the Costa Rica Tourism Board

Bordered by Nicaragua to the north and Panama to the southeast, Costa Rica has a population of close to 4.5 million and nearly a quarter of that live in the metropolitan area of the capital San José.

Tourism is one of the most important incomes of the country, Reyes pointed out, followed by agriculture – pineapples, gourmet coffee and bananas in particular.

“That bartender in Cancun was likely using a pineapple from Costa Rica,” Reyes told the crowd, stressing the impact Costa Rica’s agriculture has on the rest of the world.

The nation is divided into several regions: Central Valley (Central Valley and Santos Region), the Northern Plains (Arenal, Monteverde and Sarapiqui) and the Caribbean (Tortuguero, Caribbean Coast – Cahuita and Puerto Viejo).

Natural diversity is the country’s most valuable resource, holding nearly five per cent of the world’s species of flora and fauna in 0.03 per cent of the earth’s surface. The country’s biodiversity is especially high, boasting more than 500,000 living species in total, including more than 860 birds and “more butterflies than Europe.”

Air Canada was in attendance as it will soon launch direct flights from Montreal to Costa Rica starting Dec. 22, 2016, Ortega Mondragon noted.

For more information on Costa Rica go to