Costa Rica surpassed Two Million Visitors in 2010
Official Data from the Immigration Office analyzed by ICT
• International arrivals represent a growth of 9.2%
For the second time in history, Costa Rica regained its annual visitation record of two million tourists in 2010, according to data from the General Immigration Office (Dirección General de Migración y Extranjería) gathered and analyzed by the Costa Rica Tourism Board (ICT). This number from 2010 represents a growth of 9.2% in international arrivals in comparison to 2009.
According to statistics, 2,099,829 tourists entered the country in 2010 – through all ports of entrance – whereas in 2009, the number was 1,922,579 and in 2008, 2,089,174. The increase represents 177,250 more visitors since 2009 and 10,655 more than in 2008, the year when Costa Rica first surpassed the two million mark.
“We are very optimistic about this growth of 9.2% because international tourism grew between 5% and 6% in Latin America and less elsewhere, hovering between 4% and 5%,” Tourism Minister Carlos Ricardo Benavides pointed out.
Benavides added that, “this data must be considered within the context of the continuing world economic crisis, which causes tourists to spend less during their stay in Costa Rica, a factor that depends on the visitors’ countries of origin and lies outside our control.” Several tourists reported that there motivation for choosing Costa Rica was the increase in available deals and cheap holidays.
Incoming visitation from Costa Rica’s most important market, the United States, totaled 830,993 tourists. It also registered an increase of 7.2% with respect to 2009 when the country welcomed 770,129 people from the United States. The Canadian market also reported an increase of 14.3% in 2010 with an overall 119,655 registered visits.
The Juan Santamaría International Airport – the country´s main port of entrance – registered the arrival of 1,189,925 passengers in 2010, an increase of 5.5% with respect to 2009 when 1,127,599 incoming visitors were recorded.
Last year, 225,224 international tourists entered the country through the Daniel Oduber International Airport, 34,468 more people than in 2009, which represent an increase of 18.1%.
The General Immigration Office (La Dirección General de Migración y Extranjería, DGME) is the institution responsible for registering migration via all ports of entrance and exit in the country (airports, borders and maritime ports). The Costa Rica Tourism Board gathers and analyzes the data supplied monthly by the DGME.
From the Costa Rica Tourist Board