Friday, July 2, 2010

Stupid Tourists get REINFORCED

Crimes committed against tourists visiting Costa Rica usually involve a petty theft of some kind for the simple fact many tourists lack common sense when traveling abroad.

Well, now STUPID tourists have a friend in Costa Rica. The powers that be have buckled under the pressure and have decided to give 'Stupidity' one more chance to be less STUPID, by placing 2 booths in the San Jose Airport, aka the Juan Santamaria International Airport, in order to provide tourists some crime prevention tips. This is called reinforcing STUPIDITY.

This out today in AM Costa Rica (this is not the entire article):

"José María Tijerino, the minister of Gobernación, Policía y Seguridad Pública, said that by contacting tourists early there were more opportunities to provide information for a safe visit.

The agencies appear to be responding to the many negative experiences that have given Costa Rica a bad name in other countries. For example, the U.S. Embassy reported that in 2009 more than 1,200 U.S. passports were reported missing or stolen there."
Okay, maybe booths at the airport are a good idea. My point is who in their right mind would travel to a country and not do at least a little homework before traveling? I can guarantee out of the 1,200 passports missing or stolen, about 1,100 were due to some sort of irresponsibility on the tourists part.

In the AM Costa Rica article they also mention the flat-tire scam:
"Crooks use the punctured tire routine to get tourists, usually in rental vehicles, to pull over and expose themselves to highway robbers."

This is EXACTLY what I'm talking about. ANYONE who is visiting Costa Rica should already know this with just an hour or two of pre-travel research. These 'booths' can't tell you anything you shouldn't already KNOW.

I suppose it's how it ALWAYS is- the responsible taking the responsibility for the irresponsible- STUPIDITY should be PAINFUL, and to many tourists it often becomes just that. And of course it's these idiots that shout the LOUDEST about how dangerous Costa Rica is, unable or unwilling to take responsibility for their lack thereof. *Their should be an asterisk next to the 1,200 missing passports with the percentage of those that could have been avoided through common sense.

In an ironic twist, these guys followed our Travel Tips and had no problems while in Costa Rica.

KNOW THIS: it's the STUPID tourists giving Costa Rica the bad name.....

I'm sorry, I'm just so OVER this topic.

TONS of Costa Rica Travel Info and VIDEOS on our website: Travel Costa Rica NOW and if you want to visit our YouTube Channel: iCostaRica24 ENjoY!


expatcostarica said...

I had to go to the U.S. embassy once to have a document notarized. I was in line with five our guys who all lost their passports. I think there should be some kind of test before people are allowed to carry one.

Unknown said... that's what I'm talking about...

Unknown said...

While i appreciate the bulk of the posts, this one is more than a bit sanctimonious.

I've been to Costa Rica six times. I've never heard of the 'rental car/flat tire' scheme. Hours of 'tourism research' never revealed this, nor any other Costa Rica-exclusive scams.

I'm an experienced international traveler, i would say. 30 visits to Brazil, stays in Argentina, Panama, Italy, Mexico, etc. But, i've never come across any resource that specifically addresses scams (of any sort) for Costa Rica. Perhaps, after all my other travels, i never bothered to look, as i assume a bit of common sense is the best guard. But, assuming someone is stupid for having a passport stolen is beyond silly.

And, the more trips you make, the less vigilant you become about protecting such things. You simply take things for granted once you're accustomed to them. Maybe people DO need to be 'reminded' of certain safeguards. But, whatever. I can assure you - no matter what 'tips' they provide at the airport booth, anyone who really wants to steal a passport will be one step ahead of the proscriptions and also ahead of the 'experiential knowledge' you already possess.

Unknown said...

Couple things,,,they usually don't steal passports aggressively,,,,they steal passports because they were left in your backpack placed in the overhead of the bus and then you fell asleep for 2 hours, on the dashboard of your car, under your towel at the beach, on the desk of your motel room etc, etc. This IS stupid.

A seasoned traveler should almost do things from instinct over time, but whatever, I've been known to get complacent from time to time.

The tire scam is mentioned in numerous websites and travel books. Hell, even a few of the rental car places will tell you about it. Maybe you weren't renting a car, or just missed it..... but believe me, the INFO is there.

Sanctimonious...well maybe, but the point of the post is that NOTHING bad has to happen when traveling here, 98% of problems do come from the tourist being irresponsible and UNAWARE of their surrounding.

Thanx for the comments and feedback... different opinions and perspective are always welcome......... well, mostly anyway.

expatcostarica said...

The flat tire scam is an old one in Costa Rica, and alot of people have fallen for it over the years.

In 2008 police made some arrests and that made it into Michael Alan's favorite paper.

It's about half way down the page.

Casey Bahr said...

Lot of rant, short on facts or clear thinking (good way to harvest comments, though).

There are about 2 million foreign visitors to CR each year (U.S. visitors are a minority in that statistic). A thousand passports lost or stolen out of 2 million? Gimme a break. What's the problem? Probably that percentage are lost or stolen in the U.S., too. That's .05% for the math challenged.

Your story is meaningless without some comparison to other countries and without actually knowing how the passports went missing (just guessing based on your own bias doesn't count, sorry).

As for anectodal stuff like "I saw several people at the embassy who'd lost their passports ...", doesn't count either. Where else would you expect to find several people who'd lost their passport? At the grocery store?

Unknown said...

Casey....if you think this story was about passports, then you TOTALLY missed the point. And if I have to explain the point, obviously I didn't do a good job of writing....... oh well, next time.

Mother said...

One is to assume part of the "joy" of traveling is to expose one's self to crime.

Accepting this as a part of the journey does not make it right. "Thou shall not steal applies to ticos and ticas too, doesn't it?

Unknown said...

Don't really think it's about 'right' or 'wrong'...thou shalt NOT do a lot of things, but the reality is 'shit' happens and you should be somewhat prepared. Thanx for the comment.

Anonymous said...

my brother lives in costa rica and says its the most dangerous country he has seen. He works at a hotel and sees the countless crimes comitted against tourist including taxi drivers commiting crimes.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, I'll keep my distance, because beautiful country or not, this is a bad testimony! I'll go to Cuba. I have yet to hear one problem.