The Costa Rican government has said it will start a process to allow tourists to travel to Mexico for the first time since 2014, in a move that comes amid an economic slowdown.
The government said in a statement late Friday that Costa Rica will begin allowing travelers to travel for business, pleasure and leisure by Dec. 31.
Costa Rica had long had a very limited number of permits for tourists, but the new policy is intended to ease the bottleneck, which has put a damper on business.
The Costa Rica Tourism Board said the country has received about 1,400 applications for the permit since the start of the year.
Costa Rican tourism was hit hard by the 2008 economic collapse and has struggled since.
A new wave of tourists arrived in the country after the start and the number of arrivals has continued to increase in recent years.
The country has also experienced a spike in crime, particularly in the tourism sector, which is still reeling from the effects of the 2008 financial crisis.
The new policy comes amid a tightening of border security and increased immigration in the wake of President Rafael Correa’s administration’s economic policies, which have seen unemployment rates rise to 30 percent.
The announcement comes after the Costa Rican Supreme Court issued a ruling in January allowing Correa to appoint a new vice president to oversee tourism.