QCOSTARICA — 2023 will mark a record year for Costa Rican tourism abroad. Not only will the number of travelers be recovered before the pandemic, but a new record will be set, according to the Instituto Costarricense de Turismo (ICY+T) – Costa Rica’s Tourism Board.
According to ICT data, at the end of August, there were 767,752 national travelers, for an average of 95,969 per month.
This means that if the average is maintained, at the end of the year, Costa Rica would have 1,151,628 Ticos traveling abroad, which is slightly lower than the 2019 record of 1,152,758.
However, it is expected that the average will skyrocket due to the year-end high travel season.
For example, in December of last year, 132,624 Tico travelers were registered, which almost doubled some months in 2022 and was the highest record of the period.
“Our recovery is solid, as shown by the figures for the first half of 2023, and the effects of the pandemic are being felt less intensely,” said Minister of Tourism, William Rodríguez.
2023: the year of full recovery
After the pandemic, which meant an abrupt drop in the number of domestic travelers for 2020, tourism by Costa Ricans abroad has been recovering, but without yet reaching the number of travelers before.
The good news is that if the average number of national departures is maintained for the rest of the year, Costa Rica will reach the 2019 figures and possibly have a record number at the end of 2023 (figures from the Costa Rican Tourism Institute).
The favorite destinations of Costa Ricans are Panama, the United States and Mexico. Likewise, the ICT reports thousands of trips to other places such as Nicaragua and Colombia, also motivated in part by the family ties of migrants in Costa Rica.
Rounding out the top 10 destinations of Ticos, sixth is Guatemala, followed by El Salvador, Spain, Peru and the Dominican Republic
In that sense, Mauricio Ventura, former minister of tourism, referred to the importance of tourism for Costa Ricans, since it is also part of the engine that moves the economy.
“The tourism development of recent decades in Costa Rica has been considered for several years as the engine of economic and social development of the country. Nobody doubts today the contribution in investment as well as in the production of employment distributed throughout the national territory and much less the generation of foreign currency, positioning itself in the pre-pandemic years as the main productive sector,” said Ventura.