QCOSTARICA – Costa Rican tourism authorities predict that 2015 will be a positive year for this industry in the country, but they consider that they have a strong regional competition, mainly Nicaragua, Panama, Colombia and Cuba.
From January to September 2014, Costa Rica welcomed more than 2.190.000 tourists and estimates suggest that the annual total should exceed 2.4 million who entered the country in 2013 and generated revenues of more than US$2.427 billion dollars.
We have to correct several problems, but the issue of energy cost is key and the government has not understood that the current rates hinder the price of hotel accommodation, said Gustavo Araya, Executive Director of the Costa Rican Chamber of Hotels (CCH) to Crhoy.com.
Funding for tourism and hotel industry is another point to be reinforced in this 2015, because according to the Superintendent of Financial Institutions, only 3.5 percent of the credit portfolio of the country goes to that sector, he said.
Regarding the regional competition, Pablo Heriberto Abarca, Executive Director of the National Chamber of Tourism, said that the regional competition focuses on countries such as Nicaragua, Panama, Colombia and now Cuba, where an influx of US tourists – who are the largest source market to Costa Rica – is expected.
Tourism in the country directly employs over half a million people, and its revenues represent almost 10 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).