The fact of having 6.5% of the world’s biodiversity amazes more than one from the moment you set foot on Costa Rican territory. Precisely, natural resources are one of the aspects that most impressed the jury that evaluated Costa Rica among 51 countries, ranking it as the 2nd-best global destination for attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) in tourism, preceded only by Australia.

This is the most recent ranking “The tourist destinations of the future of FDI 2019/2020” from FDI Intelligence magazine, a division of the prestigious Financial Times, published in the December 2019/ January 2020 edition. The evaluation also recognizes the practices of sustainability of Costa Rica, training schemes, as well as the work of the Costa Rican investment promotion agency, CINDE, to attract investment to the country.

Costa Rica also stands out in the “Specialization and Tailor Prizes”, a series of recognitions given by the medium in different categories. The country stands out in 9 of them: activity tourism, wildlife, connectivity, education and training, incentives, hotel development and investment, accelerated growth, sustainability, incentive tourism, conferences, and exhibitions.

Costa Rica has lots of natural sites to be enjoyed by tourists

“Those who visit Costa Rica can enjoy horse riding, river rafting and skydiving. They can also cross the forests through the Monteverde suspension bridges and the cable car”, the magazine mentions in its review on activity tourism, a category shared with the Eurasian country Azerbaijan.

“We are honored to recognize that the country has been making coordinated and efficient efforts to promote itself as a suitable destination for foreign tourist investment with respect for the authenticity, values ​​and cultural tradition of cultural traditions”, said María Amalia Revelo, Minister of Tourism.

CINDE’s Director General, Jorge Sequeira, applauded the recognition: “Being the second best destination for foreign direct investment in the tourism sector reinforces the image of Costa Rica. For decades, the country has worked to lead sustainable tourism hand in hand with its vision of economic development. At CINDE we are clear about that north, therefore, last year, we signed an agreement with the ICT to strengthen the attraction of FDI for tourist infrastructure, a commitment that will directly impact the generation of employment in the country.

Regarding the education and training category, FDI Intelligence mentions: “In Costa Rica, CINDE works closely with the academy and the communities to develop talent. The agency develops working groups and forums to identify gaps in the market, helps foster academic alliances between local and international universities, and encourages the creation of personalized training programs”. This recognition also highlights the work of Azerbaijan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Jamaica, and Macao.

In the category of incentive tourism, conferences, and exhibitions, Costa Rica shares this recognition together with Ukraine and Colombia. The publication highlights the construction of the Costa Rica Convention Center, which has been in operation since 2018, with an investment of US$ 35 million and which “drives the country’s competitiveness as an international destination for business tourism”.

The sustainability award highlights the work of the ICT through sustainability certification, which distinguishes the work of companies in this field.

In February of last year, the ICT signed an agreement with CINDE as part of a five-year strategy for the search and promotion of investment projects in tourism infrastructure, which include hotels, entertainment, corporate, theme or sports properties, and port or airport infrastructure to support the tourism sector.

The methodology

The FDI Intelligence ranking was measured based on data from 51 destinations, with statistics from the FDI Benchmark and FDI Markets instruments. The 51 sites were required to have a minimum Gross Domestic Product of 10% generated by tourism and/or countries with at least 10% of FDI projects in the tourism cluster.