Q TRAVEL – Setting its sights on more Italian tourists is only the beginning of Costa Rica’s Tourism Board, the Instituto Costarricense de Turismo (ICT), objective of increasing tourism from Europe.

In a statement, Mauricio Ventura, Minister of Tourism, stressed that the ICT has been working intensely to attract airlines that connect with the main markets – the United States and Europe.

Currently, scheduled direct flights between Europe and Costa Rica include British Airways (London), Air France (Paris), Condor (Frankfurt) and Iberia (Madrid). In October, KLM will resume its Amsterdam – San Jose direct flights.

This means that many Europeans, can reach their Costa Rica destination through connections in the aforementioned countries. Other options include transiting through the U.S., Panama, Colombia and Venezuela.

“Our positioning in this market is of great relevance, in 2016 more than 430,000 people from Europe came to the country through all ports.

The Iberia option announced on Tuesday will allow visitors from Rome and Milan a direct route to San Jose by way of Madrid.

The ICT says that in order to improve conditions of the connections between Madrid and the Italian cities of Rome and Milan, Iberia will be taking the following measures:

“… Improving the connections of flights from Rome and Milan with Madrid-San José, so that the transit of these passengers through Terminal 4 of Adolfo Suarez Barajas Airport is more agile. Iberia will study the movement of flights from Rome and Milan that connect SJO to the 4S building, when operations allow, so that transit is more comfortable for passengers.

“… Optimize flight schedules from Rome and Milan that connect with Madrid-San Jose, so that the time scale is also shorter (between 80-90 minutes in each direction) and more comfortable for tourists coming from these destinations.”

In 2016 alone Costa Rica received 24,173 Italians, 7.7% more than in 2015.

What is the difference between a direct flight and non-stop flight?

A direct flight in the aviation industry is any flight between two points by an airline with no change in flight numbers, which may include a stop at an intermediate point. The stop over may either be to get new passengers (or allow some to disembark) or a technical stop over (i.e., for refuelling).

Direct flights are often confused with non-stop flights, which are flights involving no intermediate stops.

Simply put, a nonstop flight does as its name suggests: flies from one airport to another without stopping.  A direct flight, on the other hand, makes stops along the way.


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