During the first half of the year, 1.73 million visitors arrived in Costa Rica, a figure 3.9% higher than that reported in the same period in 2018, behavior that is explained by the rise in the arrival of tourists from North America.
Figures from the Instituo Costarricense de Turismo (ICT) – Costa Rican Tourism Board – and the Dirección General de Migración y Extranjería (DGME) – Costa Rica’s immigration service – show that during June of this year, the arrival of 249,000 visitors, 11% more than those reported in the same month of 2018.
According to the report, in the first half of 2019, there were 959,000 arrivals from the United States (761,355), Canada (149,498) and Mexico (48,770), equivalent to a 5% increase over the period from January to June 2018.
In the case of visitors from Central American countries, the number of tourists totaled 365,000 for January to June, an amount that exceeds 3.4% recorded in the first half of 2018, the majority from Nicarauga, with 228,182 arrivals.
A total of 105,358 South Americans visited Costa Rica in the first half of the year, Argentinians (23,529)and Colombians (22,222) leading.
From Europe, “el viejo continente” as it is often referred to in Costa Rica, the total number of visitors for the first half of 2019 was 255,607, the majority arriving from France (44,033), Germany (42,816), and UK (41,810).
The majority of arrivals was by air at the country’s largest international airport, the Juan Santamaria (SJO) followed by the Libeira airport (LIR) in Guanacaste.
As to land crossings, the majority was at the Paso Canoas (Panama) and Peñas Blancas (Nicaragua).
Maritime arrivals were at Golfito, Limon, Playas del Coco, Puntarenas and Quepos. The numbers do not include cruiseship arrivals.
Tourism has become the primary source of income in Costa Rica, before banana and coffee exports.