Having 6.5% of the world’s biodiversity in just 0.03% of the world’s territory and talent as its flagship differentiating resources amazes more than one from the moment they set foot on Costa Rican soil.

Just like it did to fDi Intelligence’s judging panel who chose Costa Rica as the top-two country globally for FDI Strategy in fDi’s Tourism Locations of the Future 2019/20 rankings. Australia tops the list.

The ranking belongs to the December 2019/ January 2020 edition of fDi Intelligence, a division of the Financial Times. The evaluation also recognizes Costa Rica’s sustainability practices, training programs, and the work of the Costa Rican Investment Promotion Agency (CINDE) to attract investment to the country.

Costa Rica also leads the “Specialism & Bespoke Awards,” which distinguishes the country’s work in different categories. The country excels in nine of them: activity tourism, wildlife, connectivity, education and training, incentives, hotel development and investment, accelerated growth, sustainability, incentive tourism, conferences, and exhibitions.

“Visitors to Costa Rica can enjoy horseback riding, white-water rafting, and skydiving. Other popular activities include visiting Monteverde’s suspension bridges and riding an aerial tram through the rainforest”, reads the magazine’s highlight about activity tourism, a category shared with Azerbaijan.

“We are honored that the country’s efforts are recognized. We’ve done a coordinated and efficient work to promote it as a suitable FDI tourism destination with Costa Rica’s authenticity, values, and cultural tradition,” said María Amalia Revelo, Minister of Tourism.

Jorge Sequeira, CINDE’s Managing General, applauded the recognition: “Being the top-2 destination for FDI strategy in tourism reinforces Costa Rica’s image. It also reflects the positive impact of the initial steps that have taken place under the agreement sign between CINDE and the Ministry of Tourism (ICT) last year to further enhance tourism infrastructure investments. During the last decades, the country has worked to lead sustainable tourism hand in hand with its vision of economic development. CINDE shares that vision. and it is a commitment that will directly impact the country’s employment generation.”

Regarding education and training, fDi Intelligence says: “In Costa Rica, IPA CINDE works closely with academia and the local ecosystem to develop talent. The agency develops working groups and forums to identify gaps in the market, helps foster academic alliances between local and international universities and drives the creation of custom training programs.”

This award also applauded the work of Azerbaijan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Jamaica, and Macao. In the category of incentive tourism, conferences, and exhibitions, Costa Rica shares this recognition with Ukraine and Colombia. The magazine highlights the construction of the Costa Rica Convention Center, which has been operating since 2018, with a US$35 million investment that “boosts the country’s competitiveness as an international destination for business tourism.”

The sustainability award highlights the work of ICT through sustainability certification, which distinguishes the work of companies in this field.

In February of 2019, the ICT signed an agreement with CINDE as part of a five-year strategy to search and promote investment projects in tourism infrastructure, which include hotels, entertainment, corporate, thematic or sports properties, and port or airport infrastructure to support the tourism sector.

The methodology. The fDi Intelligence ranking was measured based on data from 51 destinations, with statistics on the fDi Benchmark and fDi Markets instruments. The 51 sites were required to have a minimum Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of 10% generated by tourism and/or countries with at least 10% of FDI projects in the tourism cluster.

The study was also based on data from the United Nations World Tourism Organization and surveys.

Download a PDF of these rankings here: fDi Tourism locations of the future 2019:20