Samara Chamber of Tourism Throws in the Hat

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All of the members of the board of the Samara Chamber of Tourism, CASATUR, renounced their positions during the chamber´s annual assembly on Thursday, March 6, meaning that Samara no longer has an active chamber of commerce.

The meeting was scheduled for 3 p.m., and less than ten people were on hand when the decision was made, although a few more people showed up after 4 p.m., bringing the total attendance to a meager 12 people.

Lack of support and participation motivated the decision, which, according to Marco Carmona, former president of CASATUR, was not a surprise to the board members. “This is what we wanted really. I quit because of the low support,” he told The Voice. “I can´t keep working like this.” 

The former board members plan to support the creation of a new integral development association for central Samara, noting that the association will be able to form commissions for specific aspects such as tourism. A development association receives national financial support, has the right to hold civic fiestas to raise funds and can receive financial support from other sources for community projects. 

This association has not yet been formed, although the former vice president of CASATUR, Giancarlo Capponi, who is also a member of the planning committee for the new development association, assured that they have collected sufficient signatures of associates to form the association. They need 120 associates and have collected about 140 signatures. A date has not yet been set for the assembly to officially form the association.

Louis Brisson, owner of Villas Playa Samara, lamented that his hotel would not be included within the territory of the new development association, whose borders extend from La Taranta Creek to Mala Noche River. Villas Playa Samara is located in the territory of the El Torito Development Association.

Board members also expressed frustration regarding the limited garbage collection service provided by the municipality, which currently sends one truck once a week to certain parts of Samara and frequently does not pick up recyclables.

Carmona said the main concern is to ensure continuation of beach cleanings, which CASATUR will continue to pay for up until Easter Week. “It is the most important because it is the face of Samara,” he said, noting concern about excrement from horses and dogs as well as other litter that could accumulate without this arrangement.