Costa Rica got into 2019 on European catwalks, fashion items, French cuisine, public roads, buses, electric cars, trams and subway stations. Also in film festivals, television programs, biodiversity conservation gardens, sporting events, and social networks.
This “Only the Essentials,” tourism campaign by the Instituto Costarricense de Turismo (ICT) – Costa Rican Tourism Board – featured in 151 special projects in priority markets in the United States, Canada, and Europe, to position the country as a tourist destination.
Last year, the Costa Rican Tourism Board launched “Only the Essentials,” a worldwide tourism campaign meant to brand the country as “an opportunity to connect with the essence of life: nature, well-being, culture and adventure.”
The campaign has been a success. Tourism Minister María Amalia Revelo estimates that the country will close 2019 with a 5% growth in international arrivals by air.
Minister Revelo reaffirmed that “our responsibility and commitment is to manage this tourist success, which boosts our economy and is a generator of employment of great importance for the country.”
Tourism is one of the main engines of the country’s economy. According to the ICT and Banco Central (Central Bank of Costa Rica), the tourism industry directly accounts for 6.3% of the national economy and 1.9% indirectly, which adds up to 8.2% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
In addition, almost 9% (8.8%) of the country’s total employment comes directly from tourism. Combined with the productive linkages and indirect employment the industry generates, it represents the main source of income for thousands of Costa Rican families.
During the first half of 2019, the country saw 1,549,812 international arrivals by air, the main source of visitors to the country, of which, 65% came from the United States and Canada.
“Only the essentials” reintroduces travelers to the Costa Rica Essential brand and the promise of experiencing a connection with nature, with their peers and with themselves on their visit to our country.
The campaign was accompanied by a variety of activations in Chicago and New York as the installation of an interactive container that offered New Yorkers a 24-hour sensory experience of the Costa Rican rainforest in the middle of Brookfield Place and a massive tasting of Costa Rican coffee (2,000 cups) distributed with the help of two bicycles decorated with the art of typical carts on the international day of that drink.
In Europe, it was a year to break paradigms in Germany, Switzerland, Holland, Spain, the United Kingdom, France, and Italy.
Some of the promotion projects promoted this year in these priority markets were the:
- The Eden Project in the United Kingdom
- The “Pura Vida 2020” collection at the Ifema Events Center in Madrid, inspired by our flora and fauna and complemented by accessories made by Costa Rican artisans
- Among the 24 projects implemented in France, the transformation of 368 electric vehicles into mobile rain forests with elements of Costa Rican biodiversity stands out
- One of the 36 special projects developed in Germany was a strategic alliance with the sportswear brand Salomon, very popular among those who practice outdoor activities.
- The Taylor Morris Eyewear brand launched its Costa Rica collection, a limited edition of 200 pairs of sunglasses. The designers, who visited the country to be inspired, will allocate 15% of sales to the Las Pumas Rescue Center in Cañas, Guanacaste.
Costa Rica’s image abroad is also consolidated through the coverage of international media through reports, articles, and documentaries about the country.
Following recommendations from public relations agencies hired by ICT in North America and Europe, in 2019, targeted for the campaign were 324 journalists mainly from Europe and Latin America, as well as 65 from the United States and Canada.