QCOSTARICA – A proposal from the Instituto Costarricense de Puertos del Pacífico (Incop) – Costa Rican Institute of Pacific Ports- would put into operation a new regional cruise route that would cover from Puerto Amador, in Panama, to Puerto Quetzal, in Guatemala, and would include the Costa Rican Pacific port terminals along the way (Golfito, Quepos and Puntarenas), as well as the ports in Nicaragua and El Salvador.
The proposal was presented last Friday, March 25, in Puerto Caldera before the Central American Maritime Transport Commission (Cocatram), a specialized agency that is part of the Central American Integration System (Sica).
The proposal was unanimously welcomed by the organization, which will advise member states on this initiative to strengthen the tourism industry in those countries.
Despite the fact that the 2020-2021 cruise season was marked by the pandemic, from September to date Incop reports the arrival of 20,000 tourists on 73 cruise ships that arrived in Puntarenas, Quepos, Golfito or Caldera, the institution indicated through a press release.
The arrival of cruise ships remained suspended for 17 months; it was not until last September 3 when the Windstar Cruise arrived again in Costa Rica, at the Golfito pier with 132 tourists.
According to statistics from the Instituto Costarricense de Turismo (ICT) -Costa Rican Tourism Board, from September to December 2021, 28,709 cruise passengers were reported to have arrived in the country on a total of 21 ships that arrived at the Pacific ports and 22 cruise ships in the Caribbean (Puerto Limón).
Regarding the economic contribution, the Financial Affect of Cruise Tourism study by the Florida and Caribbean Cruise Federation (FCCA) indicates that a cruise passenger in Costa Rica spends, on average, US$136.62 during their stay in the country.
The information study of the year 2018 and is carried out every two years. The most recent study was planned for 2020, however, due to the pandemic, it was moved to 2023.
As part of the strategies to attract more cruise passengers to Costa Rica, participation in specialized annual international fairs focused on the cruise segment is included, such as Seatrade Cruise World in the United States and Seatrade in Europe.
Precisely, the idea of a new Central American route will be promoted within the framework of Seatrade Cruise World, which will take place from April 25 to 28 in Miami. For this, Costa Rica together with its neighboring countries will have their stands nearby to offer the tourist potential of the region.
“The event brings together more than 140 tourist destinations and more than 80 cruise lines, among them, 80% are decision-makers involved in purchasing processes, planning, food and beverage providers, information and technology, designers, authorities port authorities and ministries of tourism,” said the Institute, in the statement issued this Wednesday, March 30.