The Costa Rican Minister of Tourism María Amalia Revelo participated with 2 presentations at the 22nd Ibero-American Conference of Tourism Ministers and Entrepreneurs (CIMET), an event prior to the inauguration of the International Tourism Fair (FITUR) 2019, in Madrid, Spain.
At the conference participants from America, Spain and Portugal shared the progress and innovations of their countries in the tourism field, as well as new trends in a highly connected and variable world of options, in which it is relevant to bet on the generation of unique, unforgettable experiences, comfort and high-quality services.
The minister addressed an audience of more than 300 participants from 16 countries of Ibero-America with an emphasis on the investment opportunities offered by the tourist model of Costa Rica whose base is small and medium-sized tourism businesses.
Revelo announced that in 2018 Costa Rica exceeded the barrier of 3 million arrivals of international tourists, with an increase of more than 5% in the 2 international airports, Juan Santamaría, and Daniel Oduber Quirós. The statistics evidenced a remarkable increase of tourists coming from Europe in a historical figure of more than 480,000 visitors.
“These figures make us feel proud because we have achieved them gradually and we interpret them as a clear sign of the maturity and solidity of our destiny”, said Revelo. In her speech, the minister referred to the importance of Spain as a commercial ally, the development of tourism ventures, the promotion and marketing of Costa Rica in Europe, the increase of 8 direct connections from Europe as a key element of connectivity and stressing the importance of the country brand “Essential Costa Rica”.
“Essential COSTA RICA” reflects the essence of what we are: a small but diverse country with people full of talent, expertise, ingenuity, warmth, innovation, and entrepreneurial vocation. The essence our land is that despite representing only 0.03% of the global territory it is home to around 5% of the world’s biodiversity and that with a population of 4.6 million people it produces and exports more than 4,500 products to 146 countries”, the minister explained.
The European Union, the 3rd most important region for Costa Rica, represented in 2018 16.1% of the total trade of the country, US$ 2,191 million in exports and US$ 1,599 million in imports, according to official data.
Costa Rica, in the figure of the Minister of Tourism, also participated in a panel related to the new challenges on technology and information. Revelo also referred to the impact of the Social Progress Index (IPS). “Through the IPS with the support of different universities and applying technology, we are measuring the impact of tourism on welfare in different areas of Costa Rica, taking a leap in measuring not only economically but also socially”. She added that this innovative measurement tool allows us to measure how a better quality of life can be achieved for citizens both in Costa Rica and in other countries.
In this 12th edition of CIMET, there was a very active participation by the Ministers, Vice Ministers and Secretaries of Tourism of Spain, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru, Portugal, Dominican Republic, and Venezuela, as well as the maximum representatives of the Spanish Confederation of Hotels and Accommodations (CEHAT), the Council of Tourism of Spain, the Institute of Spanish Tourism Quality, and Iberia airline. Revelo highlighted the presence of Jaime A. Cabal, Deputy Secretary General of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).
The purpose of CIMET is to put all available resources to best to serve others for improving the quality of life. With their work in the area, they enlighten and energize their respective countries, hand in hand with the fundamental values that are consolidated with trust, ethics, and transparency. Likewise, teamwork and participation, leadership and commitment, safety, and continuous improvement are key elements for this purpose.