When Costa Ricans (Ticos) search the web for travel, half of the destinations they prefer are in the United States. That was the revelation by the fare aggregator and travel metasearch engine, Kayak, on Tuesday (Nov. 14) at the Wyndham Garden Hotel, in San Rafael de Escazu.
Among the top 10 U.S. destinations preferred by Ticos are New York (1), Miami (2), Los Angeles (4), Orlando (6) and Fort Lauderdale (8).
According to Claudia Tellez, Kayak manager in Costa Rica, this is similar to the trend in other Latin American countries. Miami, for example, is the number one destination for travelers in from Latin America.
The data is derived from a data analysis carried out by the search engine between January 1, 2016, and August 31, 2017.
Kayak, online since 2004, facilitates users, through their searches, the possibility to compare prices of flights, hotels and car rentals in different online websites such as Booking.com, Expedia.com or Despegar.com (based in Argentina), among others.
The city of Madrid, Spain, is listed as the third most searched destination by Ticos. According to Tellez, this makes sense as Spain is the choice by many when thinking of traveling to the “Old Continent”, as Europe is often referred to in Costa Rica and Latin America.
Among the 200 destinations searched by Costa Ricans for travel from San Jose, Costa Rica are Barcelona, Paris, Havana, Amsterdam, Rome, Frankfurt, Munich, Berlin, Bangkok, and Shangai.
The Kayak Costa Rica manager added that interest has grown in the past year, this most likely due to an increased presence of more airlines with direct flights from Costa Rica to and from Europe.
Previous to the arrival of airlines like British Airways, Air France, Iberia and KLM, among others, Costa Ricans traveling to Europe had to with connections the U.S. or other countries in the region such as Panama, El Salvador, Cuba or Colombia.
Claudia Tellez explained that Costa Rica has acquired relevance for the Kayak search engine because, “We have seen that Costa Ricans are interested in traveling more every day and we want to bring them all the technology and possibilities to make the search process easier, fast and efficient.”
Interest in travel to Costa Rica
Looking in from outside the country, Kayak revealed that Americans lead the list of countries from which it is sought to come to Costa Rica, followed by Canadians, Germans, French and the Spanish.
The travel search engine detailed that the average price paid from those nations is US$720 from the United States and US$662 from Canada, while a direct flight, on average, from Germany, is US$1,339; France US$1,504; and Spain US$1,170.
The Internet’s role in travel
Access to the internet allows more people in the world to access information about flights and hotels. AdWeek figures reveal that 82% of people search the Internet before buying and 95% of people who travel for leisure usually read more than seven online reviews before making their purchase.
For that reason, it is not surprising that companies like Kayak, Skyscanner, Google itself, with Google Flights or Trivago, a search engine for hotels around the world, provide travelers help in planning their travel.