Costa Rica uses marketing to combat sex tourism and paedophilia

The campaign “Unforgettable Costa Rica” consists of a website that in the past four months has been promoted in dating websites and sex forums using fake accounts. Posts and messages invite users to visit the website to find “the youngest girls,” aiming to attract sex predators.

Clicking on one of these links takes the person to a website that looks like a conventional hotel or travel site displaying usual links to accommodations, dining & nightlife, spa & wellness, and others including one of “Meet the girls.”

The links display images of a prison with messages warning that people engaging in sexual activities with minors will be prosecuted, and that a sex trip to Costa Rica could end up in prison sentences if they pay for sex with underage persons.

It is highly admirable that Costa Rica is tackling the problem of sex tourism directly and sending out the message that tourists must respect the nation and its laws. Costa Rica is a beautiful nation that offers many fantastic tourism opportunities, such as the remarkable bird watching tours that are offered by sites such as These tourist activities are rightfully encouraged by the nation.

PANIAMOR Executive Director Milena Grillo said efforts to promote the website were conducted site-by-site, creating fake user accounts to post messages with invitations to visit the site. The goal is to inform as many people as possible that engaging in sexual relations with people under 18 is a crime in Costa Rica, she said.

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