We don’t have a way to read the future, something that allows us, exactly, to say we’re going to be here. With the trends that we have, the variability is very large. That final number, to put a piece of information, could be 400,000 and 1,600,000 dollars of foreign tourist income. It is a very wide range. This stated by officials from the Costa Rican Tourism Institute (ICT).
“What is at the center of those two figures are not future projections. They are possibilities for the future. In other words, the numbers between that margin would be the possible numbers. Hence our insistence that it is a construction model. At the moment it is the data that we can offer with all frankness.
In this way, the Costa Rican Tourism Institute (ICT) quantifies its estimates of international arrivals to our country for this 2021, as explained by the director of Planning of the institution, Rodolfo Lizano.
The best of scenarios
That means that, in the best of scenarios, a little more than 50% of the 3.1 million visitors who arrived in our territory in 2019 would be arriving. In the meantime, if travel restrictions in the main source countries for tourists visiting Costa Rica are maintained and other factors combine, the country could even receive half the number of travelers reported last year.
However, this scenario is unlikely since, at the international level, an improvement is expected in the containment of COVID-19, the disease responsible for the current global crisis. For example, last year and despite the fact that vaccination campaigns around the world did not began until December, a total of 1,011,912 people visited the country, according to the report of the General Directorate of Migration and Foreigners (DGME). This represented a drop of just over 67.4%, compared to 2019.
Factors that weigh in
Among the various factors that weigh on the recovery of the sector both internationally and nationally are travel restrictions, the management of the virus in issuing countries, the level of confidence, the economic environment and the pace at which flights are restored, they explained.
For these estimates, the entity used two models: One of gradual recovery of 5% (Continuous Growth Trend) and the simple seasonal. However, the ICT added that “its results should be handled with caution as uncertainty is a constant in current health circumstances.” Especially when considering the previously mentioned factors.
For their part, the main national chambers of this industry have been manifesting for months that, given the current global context, this 2021 there will not be a high season. This, coupled with accumulated losses last year (estimated at $ 3,000 million) would put hundreds of companies in check and therefore thousands of jobs throughout the national territory.
Projections of the National Chamber of Tourism (Canatur) and the Costa Rican Chamber of Hotels, this industry is responsible for generating approximately 665 thousand jobs, between direct and indirect jobs.
For its part, the International Air Transport Association (IATA, for its acronym in English), estimates that the country would be receiving during this 2021, at most, 30% of the travelers who entered Costa Rica during 2019. In 2022, that figure would increase to 50%, in 2023 to 75% and perhaps in 2024 the levels before the start of the Pandemic will recover, the Chambers stated.