Thursday 1 December 2022

Costa Rica goal is 2 million tourists for 2022

"The tourist losses that we have had (post-pandemic) correspond mainly to business travelers and people who traveled by land from other Central American countries," said Tourism Minister

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1 December 2022 - At The Banks - BCCR

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QCOSTARICA – Although it is difficult to accurately estimate the number of tourists who will arrive in 2022, due to the large number of variants that must be considered, the Instituto Costarricense de Turismo (ICT) – Costa Rican Tourism Board – uses projection models that allow them to determine that it is very likely that Costa Rica will close the year with some 2,005,210 tourists by air.

Canals of Tortuguero (Photos: ICT)

This was confirmed by the Minister of Tourism, William Rodríguez in a webinar developed by the Costa Rican Banking Association (ABC) called “Evolución del sector turismo tras la pandemia (Evolution of the tourism sector after the pandemic)”.

Rodríguez commented that they currently use two models to establish visitation projections.

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One of them is the Holt-winters that uses lower and upper limits and which gives as a result that the arrival of tourists by air at the end of the year would be around 1,723,273 tourists; and the second, the simple seasonal model, which consists of an average that results in the figure of 2,005,210 tourists.

“The latter is the model that he considers will be closer to our reality,” suggests Rodríguez.

Tourism is very important to Costa Rica’s economy and the current economic recovery, given that each tourist who visits the country consumes a great diversity of products, such as ecotourism attractions, adventure, beaches, and mountains among others.

According to the ICT, the great options that Costa Rica has for tourists had an impact on the fact that the average stay is around 14 days, a high figure that is only surpassed by New Zealand and Australia, which have 17 and 16 days of stay, respectively.

Of the tourists arriving by air, 88.5% who enter through the Juan Santamaría international airport in San Jose (SJO), do so for vacation reasons, while 96.1% of the visitors arrive through the Guanacaste airport in Liberia(LIR).

When comparing the figures of August 2022 with the same month in 2019 of international arrivals by air, the Guanacaste airport saw an increase of 25% and 17% less at the Juan Santamaría.

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“When we see the accumulated, between 2019 and 2022, the entry of tourists by air is 86%.

“In general terms, the tourist losses correspond mainly to business travelers and people who arrived by land from other Central American countries,” Rodríguez commented.

The type of travelers has also undergone some changes. Before the pandemic, the majority of visitors were made up of entire families. Now there is a higher concentration of couples or single travelers.

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The majority of tourist arrivals is from North America (71%), the United States the bulk; followed by Europe (19.2%), South America (4.4%), Central America (3.7%), and the Caribbean (0.3%).

During the webinar, María Isabel Cortés, executive director of the ABC commented: “For the National Banking System it is gratifying to see the recovery that the tourism sector has had, due to its great impact on the country’s economy. In addition, this shows that the support given by the banks, to the people and companies affected by the pandemic, was of great importance and allowed them to get ahead with their businesses,” said Cortés.

As of June 2022, the credit balance of the National Banking System (SBN) to the tourism sector reached the figure of ¢618.2 billion colones, 47% more than in June 2019.

Financial entities include within the tourism portfolio activities such as transportation and car rental to tourists, travel agencies, tourist transportation by all means, activities linked to tourism, hotels, and restaurants.


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