QCOSTARICA – The end of 2021 would mark the beginning of a “good” high season in the tourism sector, according to businessmen, chambers of the sector and hoteliers consulted.
Three months to the end of the year, there is a satisfactory movement in the reservations of local tourists, in addition to the growth in the number of foreign visitors already reported by the two international airports.
Almost two years have passed since the arrival of Covid-19 in Costa Rica and the sector is looking to the 2021-2022 high season to begin its recovery process.
And it is that the return of a large part of airlines that flew to the country before the pandemic, including all those from the United States, Canada (starting October 2) the opening of new air routes to the country and the sustained growth in the entry of travelers are positive signs of the long-awaited recovery.
Likewise, the arrival of the first cruise ships to national ports fill businessmen and hoteliers with hope.
In addition to this, the sector highlights the effectiveness of health protocols to move tourists to different tourist destinations in the country, because they consider that they have already demonstrated that tourism does not represent a source of contagion.
“In the sector, despite the fact that we continue to be hit, despite the fact that we are 50% or 60% below the economic activity of 2019, we consider that this coming high season is going to be a good time to have signs of recovery and above all prove ourselves as a safe destination at an international level,” said Shirley Calvo, director of the National Chamber of Tourism.
For this reason, Calvo expects Costa Rica to exceed one million international tourist arrivals 2020 (the majority arriving from January to the middle of March) and that by the end of 2021 the country will reach 2 million.
The expectation of having a better high season is shared by other business people related to the tourism sector such as Sary Valverde, president of the Costa Rican Association of Travel Agencies.
“Costa Ricans are once again beginning to plan their trips in the short and medium term, and people are already thinking about where to go in November, in January, so we are already beginning to see a little more movement, demand, consultations and that is good for the sector,” said Valverde.
For his part, Dennis Whitelaw, General Manager Marriott Costa Rica, “We are very positive for the last months of the year in terms of visitation of national and international tourists in our properties.”
“The Christmas and end of the year season, as well as the first quarter of 2022 are in high demand at this time. The most important market is still the United States,” said Adam Zilber, General Manager, Hotel Andaz Costa Rica Resort at Peninsula Papagayo.
For them and many others, the end of the year would mark a turning point in the recovery of tourism in Costa Rica, after the Covid-19 pandemic.