Thursday 1 December 2022

US arrivals to Costa Rica quadrupled in November

U.S. arrivals by air went from 6,115 in October to 24,606 in November, according to figures reported by the ICT, however, the total number of travelers is below 20% of what it used to be before the pandemic

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QCOSTARICA – The opening of the air borders on November 1 to all nationalities has resulted in an increase in visitor arrivals, in particular visitors from the United States.

With a mask, is the Minister of Tourism, Gustavo Segura, who welcomed the first visitors to returning to Costa Rica last August. Photo: ICT

According to a report released on Monday, December 7, by the Costa Rican Tourism Institute (ICT), indicates that in October, arrivals by air of US citizens amounted to 6,115 people, in November, the figure was 24,606.

The ICT report detailed that 68% of the 36,044 visitors who arrived by air in November, were Americans.

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This is a good indication of the path towards the recovery of tourism.

However, a full recovery, as predicted and as expected by the private sector, will be slow. In November 2019, the ICT reported 117,848 arrivals by air, of which 91,785 (78%) were from the United States, based on the ICT statistical reports.

The United States is the main source of tourists to Costa Rica. In 2019, a total of 1,334,777 people from the U.S. visited Costa Rica: 1,283,112 arriving by air, the rest by land or sea, according to the reports posted on the ICT website.

Total visitor arrivals, by all routes, last year, closed at 3,139,008 (2,418,300 were by air).

Arrivals hall at the Juan Santamaria international airport in San Jose (SJO).

Cautious optimism

“This signal that we receive from the most important market in Costa Rica is encouraging for more than 600,000 people who directly and indirectly make a living from tourism,” said Gustavo J. Segura, Minister of Tourism.

However, Segura called for caution, since total tourist arrivals are less than one-quarter of prepandemic.

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For example, a total of 4,322 European tourists arrived in Costa Rica in November by air, slightly more than double the number of 2,072 in October, but still far from the 40,866 in November 2019.

The president of the National Chamber of Tourism (Canatur), Rubén Acón, had estimated that in the entire high season (five months of December-April) between 275,000 and 345,000 foreign tourists could come (by all routes), close to between 20% and 25% of prepandemic periods.

Minister Segura, meanwhile, insisted on the importance of complying with all established health protocols. He remembered wearing masks, physical distancing, and staying in social bubbles.

The ICT also mentioned as a reminder that for the entry of foreign tourists, the requirements are to complete the epidemiological digital form or “Health Pass“, and to purchase travel insurance, from local or international carriers, that covers accommodation in case of quarantine and medical expenses for acute illness.

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