During the first semester of 2023, Costa Rica received 1,338,303 tourists by air, which means an increase of 19.4% compared to the figures for the same period in 2022 and practically equals the numbers prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, revealed this Thursday the Costa Rican Tourism Institute (ICT).
“There is no doubt that our recovery is solid and we are on the path of a better recovery in terms of foreign exchange inflows. By the end of the year, our expectation is that we end up with a currency number greater than 2019, with estimates of 4,000 million dollars at the end of 2023”, said the Minister of Tourism, William Rodríguez, at a press conference.
From January to June 2023, the figures show that 977,783 tourists arrived in Costa Rica by air from North America, a figure 21% higher than in 2022. From the United States, Costa Rica’s main market, 792,944 visitors arrived; 148,973 tourists from Canada and 35,866 people from Mexico. Arrivals from Europe increased by 9.3% compared to the same period in 2022 for a total of 225,617 tourists.
“Among the activities that travelers enjoy the most in Costa Rica are natural experiences with 30% mentions, adventure (29%), enjoying the sun and the beach (18%), as well as others related to culture, gastronomy , wellness tourism, shopping and nightlife”, according to ICT data. “The destination is growing, it is being well valued by our partners such as airlines, employment is recovering and we have positive assessments of the tourism product and its diversity. It makes us think that we are very close to the figures for 2019 (prior to the pandemic)”, said the director of Planning and Development of the ICT, Rodolfo Lizano.
Regarding the employment indicator, according to data from the National Institute of Statistics and Censuses, tourism generated 158,810 direct jobs in the first quarter of 2023. Official data from the ICT reveal that Costa Rica, a country of 5.1 million inhabitants, added during 2022 a total of 2.11 million tourists from various parts of the world. Before the pandemic, this country received just over 3 million tourists each year.