Q COSTA RICA – The number of tourist arrivals to the country last year grew by 12.8% compared to 2015, reaching a record 2.9 million visitors.
According to the Instituto Costarricense de Turismo (ICT) – tourism board – in 2016 a total of 2,925,128 international arrivals were reported, over 70% arrived by air, making it the main means of entry into the country. The remaining arrivals were by land and sea.
That number is around 260,000 more arrivals than in 2015.
“We experienced growth in our international airports, figures never before registered both by air and at all ports of entry, closing the year with almost 3 million arrivals,” said Mauricio Ventura, Minister of Tourism and head of the ICT.
The Minister explained that of the arrivals by air, more than 1.5 million landed at the Juan Santamaría – San Jose – (SJO) International airport, while arrivals at the Daniel Oduber in Liberia (LIR) , Guanacaste accounted for more than 570,000.
In relation to arrivals by land there were 799,824 (a growth of 0.8% compared to 2015), and sea 10,439 (up 27.4%).
Of the arrivals coming from Europe, referred to in Costa Rica as the Old Continent (Viejo Continente in Spanish), for the first time the United Kingdom established itself as the leading country with 71.932 arrivals in 2016, up from the 47,499 arrivals in 2015, a growth of 50.3%.
A total of 67,939 arrivals were from Germany; 67,453 from Spain; 61,503 from France; and 21,242 from Switzerland with 21,242. In all cases there was a rebound i arrivals.
According to Ventura, growth can be attributed to airlines. British Airways from the United Kingdon, Iberia from Spain, Air France from France and Condor from Germany.