The Costa Rica News (TCRN) – Last year was a momentous and outstanding time for the tourism industry in Costa Rica. This is demonstrated by the data that was provided by the Immigration Administration (DGME) and analyzed by the Costa Rican Tourism Board (ICT).
In fact, all historical records of the country were exceeded: A total of 2,526,817 international arrivals were recorded by all ports of entry, a growth of 4.1 % from 2013.
The majority of these tourists entered Costa Rica by air. The international airports, Juan Santamaria (San Jose) and Daniel Oduber Quiros (Liberia), received 1,720,951 arrivals over the course of the year. Almost 70% arrived from North America, followed by Europe with 16.5% and South America with 6.9%. Europe had a tremendous growth compared to the previous year, with 20% more Europeans (mainly from France, Spain, Germany and the United Kingdom) coming to the country in 2014.
According to Rodolfo Lizano, the ICT’s director of strategic planning, the growth of a tourist destination is also to be measured by the spending, stay and foreign exchange earnings from tourists.
Thus, in 2014 a foreign exchange income of 2.636 billion dollars was registered by the Central Bank of Costa Rica. This represents an increase of 8.3% compared to 2013.
An average stay for a Costa Rica vacation in 2014 was between 12 and 13 nights, while the average expenditure for that period was between 1,300 and 1,400 dollars. These numbers reflect the competitiveness of Costa Rica in the region and confirm Lizano’s statement that the country is a mature and consolidated tourist destination.
“Our figures can be compared with those of major destinations around the world. Our direct competition is not in the region,” Lizano stated.
Furthermore, he noted: “Our research told us that the U.S. has a potential market of 65 to 70 million citizens who want to travel abroad, and some 16 million would be interested in a destination like Costa Rica. So there is still great potential for us to increase arrivals from there.”
Thanks to the implementation of a sustainable tourism development model, Costa Rica is and will be an attractive destination for tourists who seek an authentic travel experience and require high-standard services.
“We have become a promoter and role-model for other nations,” explained the Minister of Tourism, Wilhelm von Breyham.
It probably won’t take too long until the land of Pura Vida breaks its own records again.
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By Lukas Wesenberg
The Costa Rica News (TCRN)
San Jose, Costa Rica