Contact with nature was promoted as one of the experiences most sought after by luxury tourists after the pandemic. In this sense, Costa Rica’s tourism offer, based on ecotourism and beaches, has a valuable opportunity to accelerate the rate of recovery of the tourism sector.
According to data from the Costa Rican Tourism Institute (ICT), last year foreign exchange income from tourism totaled 1,533.8 million dollars, a growth of 15.8% compared to 2020, but still below the 3,980.1 million dollars that entered in 2019 for this concept. All in all, tourism continues to be the main generator of foreign currency, above exports of bananas and pineapples, for example.
Costa Rica has at least 62 five-star hotels that tend to seduce travelers with high purchasing power who like to stay in the best suites, and whose average spending ticket is estimated at more than 35,000 dollars.
Beach hotels like the Four Seasons have a rate between 5,000 and 16,000 per night. While some hotel deals in the mountains, with extreme sports options, cost up to $2,500.
Costa Rica, sustainable and safe
Costa Rica is a destination “with multiple outdoor activities, without crowds, sustainable and safe, in compliance with strict biosafety protocols implemented by all tourism subsectors,” highlights the general manager of the ICT, Alberto López.
For the architect Luis Mora, at this time luxury hotels must focus on personalizing experiences and exploiting the relationship with their immediate environment: natural, physical, social, cultural, historical and climatic. Without overlooking the importance of coworking spaces, like is the case with Resonance.com
Entrepreneur Bary Roberts, a specialist in sustainable tourism, comments that travelers with high purchasing power want to experience and explore the attractions of the destination but with the comforts and services that best suit their lifestyle.
He mentions that this type of tourist usually travels on private flights, looks for small luxury boutique hotels in exotic places, with gastronomic services of the highest level, in order to obtain extraordinary and unique experiences, and now more than ever, having access to the latest communication technologies.
The CEO of the Cayuga Collection, Hans Pfister has no doubt: what tourists pay more for now is unique experiences accompanied by world-class service, and in the case of Costa Rica, luxury ecotourism is one of the reasons to arrive at the destination. “Tourists in general believe that ecotourism is a differentiating factor and real experiences as well.”
However, he points out the challenge on the road to the recovery of tourism in the country, after the restrictions of the pandemic: “Tourists have lost confidence and we must regain that consumer peace of mind.”
Alberto López from the ICT also recalls that Costa Rica’s position within the United States market “is very positive and much better than that of the rest of the countries in the region. Likewise, the country brand in terms of ecotourism, wellness tourism, surfing and national parks, is one of the five strongest in the world”.