Tuesday 31 January 2023

In 2021, Costa Rica recovered 52% of prepandemic tourism by air

December 2021 was the best month for tourist arrivals by air, when 201,902 visitors arrived in Costa Rica, which represented 16% of the entire year

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QCOSTARICA – Costa Rica closed 2021 with the arrival of 1,347,055 tourists, of which 1,270,483 arrived by air,  a figure that represents 52.5% of the arrivals by air in 2019, that is before the pandemic.

94% of the total number of tourists arrived in Costa Rica in 2021 by air. (Photo from ICT)

However, when considering all routes (air, sea and land), the figure is 42.8% of the number of tourists arrivals in 2021 compared to 2019.

The data is from the Dirección General de Migración y Extranjería (DGME) – Costa Rica’s immigration service, and analyzed and released by the Instituto Costarricense de Turismo (ICT) – the Costa Rica Tourism Board, on Monday, January 17.

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The increase in the number of flights, the retunr of all the airlines that flew to Costa Rica before the pandemic, and the arrival of new airlines, such as Iberojet and Frontier, resulted in the two international airports, the Daniel Oduber (Guanacaste airport) and Juan Santamaria (also known as the San Jose airport). showing dynamism during the previous year.

According to a press release by the ICT, the Juan Santamaría Airport (SJO) added 882,424 tourists, which represented 48.6% of arrivals in 2019; and the Daniel Oduber (LIR) received 288,054 tourists, equivalent to 64.7% of what was registered in the pre-pandemic year.

“The figures for 2021 show that we have advanced on a sustained path to reactivate the sector, recovering jobs and the economy in atypical times. This forces us to continue to be strict in the application of sanitary protocols in order to remain a reliable destination, hoping that in 2022 the joint work and management of the pandemic in the country and in our issuing markets will allow us to continue with the recovery of the tourism,” said Gustavo Alvarado, Minister for Tourism.

The United States continues to be the main source market for tourists to Costa Rica, 852,182 tourists arrived, recovering 66.4% of the 2019 figures. While 212,639 tourists arrived from Europe, with Spain leading with 39,618 people, followed by Germany, with 31,739 and France, with 30,129, recovering half of the international arrivals in 2019.

According to the ICT press release, tourist arrivals showed an increase in the last three months of 2021, adding more than 430,000 tourist arrivals, with 216,678 tourists arriving in December alone, making it the best month of the year.

December was also the best month for arrivals by air, with 201,902 visitors, which represented 16% of the entire 2021.

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