The Instituto Costarricense de Turismo (ICT) – Costa Rican Tourism Board – estimates an increase of 9.2% in cruise ship arrivals at the five main points of the country – Limón, Caldera, Quepos, Golfito, and Puntarenas – for 2018 (August) to 2019 (July) season.
In the press release of March 21, the ICR explains that so far 203 cruise ships have docked in Costa Rica and another 46 are expected in the coming four months of the season.
On July 13, for example, the arrival of the Queen Elizabeth is expected in Puntarenas.
According to the ICT, each cruise tourist spends, on average, US$137 per day. For the 2018 – 2019 season, an estimated 354,800 passengers are estimated.
“The growth of this season further evidences the challenges that lie ahead in terms of port infrastructure, arrival centers for cruise passengers, increased visitation to docking ports and higher average spending, among others,” said the Minister of Tourism, María Amalia Revelo.
In a report by La Nacion last April 2018, the majority of merchants at the Puntarenas port, for example, sit idle, watching the tourist dollars come and go, obtaining little benefit from cruise ship arrivals, as cruise tourists mainly opt for tours.
This year, Costa Rica will host, for the first time, the FCCA Central America Cruise Summit (May 22, 2019 – May 24, 2019), where the Costa Rican industry will have the opportunity to hold bilateral meetings and workshops with senior industry decision makers.