Shopping Bags Beat the Beach for Chinese Tourists; Costa Rica Tourism Looking to Adapt

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    The Costa Rica News (TCRN) – Resting in a hotel that looks out over the sea and sunbathing on the sand is not what Chinese tourists seek in their holiday, a situation that hinders their attraction to the country.

    According to Tourism Minister Wilhelm von Breymann, Chinese tourists prefer destinations with lots of shopping options, so from that point of view, Costa Rica is not an ideal country to visit.

    He assured that they continue to explore that niche to catch the attention of Asians, but for the moment it does not have a defined strategy.

    “We have to study it well, we’re working on it. Now that President Luis Guillermo Solis returned from China (where he made ​​an official visit) there is more indication that they were interested in coming to Costa Rica,” voiced the minister.

    The air route between the two countries is another issue of concern for the Costa Rican Tourism Institute (ICT), because it is not optimal.

    “We realize that they can’t fly directly to Costa Rica; it has to be via the United States, then they need a visa. If they do not have one they must apply, so there are many things you have to do to make it work and it’s not an overnight process,” he said.

    In addition to finding ways to attract Chinese tourists, the country should prepare to have tour guides who speak Mandarin and know about the culture of that nation, stated von Breymann.

    According to statistics from the ICT, during 2013, 7,791 Chinese tourists visited the country, representing 0.3 percent of the people entering Costa Rica this year.

    The most recent data from 2014 shows that from January to September, 5,378 people from China arrived in the country. (Amelia Rueda)

    The Costa Rica News (TCRN)

    San Jose, Costa Rica

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