QCOSTARICA – At least six new hotels are planning to start operations between this year and next in the provinces of Alajuela, Limón, Heredia and Guanacaste, according to data provided by the Instituto Costarricense de Turismo (ICT) – Costa Rican Tourism Board.
Together, the six hotels, currently under construction, would add more than 578 new rooms.
They are the Hotel Homewood Suites Cariari by Hilton and the Hotel El Lugar Resort Costa Rica, in Heredia; the Suitree Hotel Boutique in Guanacaste; as well as Hotel Fairfield by Marriott and Hotel Hilton Garden in Alajuela; and the Hotel Puerto, which will be built in the province of Limón.
The ICT data indicates that the investment in these projects is more than US$80 million dollars.
Also on the list of tourism projects is the Marina Flamingo in Guanacaste, which would conclude its construction process and begin operations during this month of April.
In the case of the Hilton Garden Inn in Alajuela, it will be housed in City Towers, the second stage of the City Mall shopping center owned by the Honduran investment group, Lady Lee Corporation.
The Citizen project being developed in Heredia will include the AC Hotel by Marriott. The complex has offices and dining establishments such as Starbucks.
Tourism works began to be reactivated with greater force in 2021, after the blow that the pandemic dealt to the tourism sector. Although some of the projects were to have been built between 2020 and last year, commercial closures and sanitary restrictions caused the postponement of investments, given the uncertainty of the economic future.
“Although it is true that the pandemic is not over, there are already better signs that hotel investments are going to start construction processes in different areas of the country, some of which are concentrated in coastal areas and in the Golfo Turístico Papagayo,” commented Rafael Soto, director of Tourism Management of the ICT.
For February 2022, the interannual variation in the cycle trend of the Índice Mensual de Actividad Económica (IMAE) – Monthly Index of Economic Activity, for the accommodation and food services sector was 60.3%. A year earlier, in February 2021, that figure was -46.7%.
“Costa Rica remains a very interesting destination to invest in and tourist arrivals continue to have sustained growth (…), tourists continue to be interested in visiting various destinations in the country, generating an important economic benefit in the different communities,” commented José Ángel Cangiano, global director of Hospitality of the real estate company Everty, who added that there is confidence at the country brand level when compared to other destinations.
Guanacaste in recovery
The data provided by the ICT show four tourism projects in the approval process. There are four hotels in Guanacaste: One & Only Papagayo Bay, Punta Cacique, Playa Pochote and Zunya.
The four hotels would add 485 new rooms in the province; Punta Cacique plans the largest amount, with about 200, while Hotel Zunya would be a small-scale lodging with 9 rooms.
Likewise, the province will have a Six Senses brand hotel in 2024, which will have 40 rooms and 31 ultra-luxury residences. It will be located on the Papagayo Peninsula and is a project developed by Garnier & Garnier.