QCOSTARICA – The trend of the traveler arriving in Costa Rica has changed after the pandemic, and this has been highlighted by the Instituto Costarricense de Turismo (ICT). – Costa Rican Tourism Board.
“This information is vital to market the country outside the borders,” said William Rodríguez, Minister of Tourism.
One of those changes detected is that part of the business travel by air to Costa Rica has been lost, acknowledged Rodríguez during a webinar of the Costa Rican Banking Association (ABC).
“What have we lost from the people who come by plane? The business traveler, especially Central Americana, who used to move very easily between the Central American countries. We have lost it in an important way”, said Rodríguez.
In addition, he acknowledged that part of the decrease (17%) in international arrivals in August 2022 at the Juan Santamaría (San Jose) airport is due to this class of visitor.
“What is being reflected there is what we have lost from business traffic,” Rodríguez added.
According to the ICT, around 11% of all arrivals at the San Jose airport is the business tourist, and barely 3% at the Guanacaste airport.
Arrivals by land down
Last week, the ICT revealed that in the first eight months of 2022, Costa Rica lost almost three-quarters (72%) of the tourists who came to the country by land, compared to the same period in 2019.
These are the Central Americans or extraterritorial, who entered from Panama or Nicaragua, according to William Rodríguez, Minister of Tourism.
According to the Minister, the country went from receiving 490,000 tourists who came by land in 2019 to a total of 138,000 for the first two quarters of 2022.
“The situation of the pandemic and more recent situations, politically speaking in Panama, made traffic to the north difficult, that must have affected us,” Rodríguez explained.
On the other hand, tourists who came from the North, traveling from other countries entering from Nicaragua, have decreased due to political issues in that part of the region.
Due to this, Rodriguez forecasts that entries from Panama will recover more quickly.
“The one in the North, I see it more complicated because of uncontrollable factors for us,” Rodriguez added.
If Costa Rica had not lost this number of travelers, it would be very close to reaching pre-pandemic levels of visitation, since up to August it reported 73% of income through all routes, compared to the same period in 2019.