The Costa Rican Tourism Institute (ICT) reported this past week that four Canadian-flagged airlines will return to Costa Rica’s international air terminals as of October 2nd, after an absence of seven months due to the health crisis.
The return of Air Canada, Air Transat, Sunwing and WestJet will be staggered and will be completed in December. These airlines will fly from the cities of Toronto, Montreal and Calgary; Most flights will be between Guanacaste (North Pacific) and Canada.
“Canada is the second market that generates tourists to Costa Rica, only surpassed by the United States. The return of Canadian airlines occurs at an ideal time to boost visitation in the last quarter of the year and especially at the entrance of the province from Guanacaste where most Canadian tourists enter our country”, stated the Rector Minister of Tourism, Gustavo Segura.
The suspension of flights was due to the health crisis as a result of the internal decisions of the Canadian government to contain the Covid-19 pandemic in that country. According to ICT data, in 2019, 218,932 Canadian tourists entered the country by air, which represented just over 9% of all international travelers and approximately 13% of those from North America.
Great news for Guanacaste
“Recovering the operations of Canadian airlines represents great news, as it is the second largest source of tourists to Guanacaste,” said César Jaramillo, general manager of Coriport, concessionaire of the Guanacaste airport.
The market characterization prepared by the authorities indicates that potential tourists from Canada reflect their preference to escape the intense winter in their country, their inclination to rest, explore other cultures, relax in natural environments, live adventure experiences, enjoy the beaches, hiking, mountain biking, diving, rafting, surfing, snorkeling, canopy, horseback riding, yoga, among others.
Canadian “best prospects” are a potential market of more than three million potential travelers concentrated primarily in Toronto, Montreal and Calgary. Tourism is one of the main engines of the economy of Costa Rica, a country that is home to about 6% of the planet’s biodiversity, which is one of its main attractions.
This sector has been one of the most affected during the health crisis due to border closures and restrictions on mobility. Currently, Costa Rica keeps its borders open to tourism from anywhere in the world and applies a series of sanitary protocols in hotels, shops and national parks.