National

2.6 million tourists visited Costa Rica in 2015

2millones
Written by Mariano
WAYRA Instituto de Español

In 2015, tourist arrivals to Costa Rica registered a historical peak, according to records and statistics managed by the Costa Rican Tourism Board (Instituto Costarricense de Turismo ICT).

Last year, the tourism industry tripled the growth of the nation´s economy. Calculations have shown that its part of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was 2.8% and the incomes of this industry without chimneys (delete) would increase to 9%, following the trends of the past years.

According to the ICT, in 2015, there were 2,665,608 international arrivals through all ports to Costa Rica, which represents a 5.5% increase compared to 2014.

Airways arrivals counted for a total of 1,858,965, an 8% increase compared to the year before, thus consolidating that this main entrance to the country registers almost 70% of tourists that arrive in Costa Rica. Juan Santamaría International Airport showed a growth of traffic visitors of 6.7%, whereas Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport increased 12.6%, according to the General Directorate of Migration and Foreign Affairs (Dirección General de Migración y Extranjería DGME), in information released by the ICT. Minister of Tourism, Mauricio Ventura, admitted that this tourism growth indicates its importance as an engine for the development of the country.

“Together with the important news that the tourist economy grew three times more than the rate of the national economy, 2015 was an exceptional year for tourism. The sum of positive events that benefited both the sector and the country included an increase in the number of flights arriving in Costa Rica and the fact of surpassing one million American visitors through all ports; this highlights the success of promotion and marketing work done towards this end. There was also important progress related to the National Congress and Conventions, among other achievements. Costa Rica has marked a milestone in tourism history, given that the figures of 2015 beat all statistical records of the ICT,” Ventura explained.

Last trimester of 2015 surpassed historical high marks Here in Costa Rica, the country received more visitors in the last trimester of 2015 than ever before.

There were 668,046 international arrivals; therefore, 81,711 more through all ports and 67,043 more tourists through airports than in the same term of 2014. In December, there was an increase of 13.7% through all ports and 15.7% through airports.

In this respect, Juan Santamaría International Airport saw an increase of a 9.8% and Daniel Oduber International Airport, of a 32.6%, both in said month.

Destination interest continues to grow in main markets Also in 2015, main markets to Costa Rica continued to expand, which is reflected in the historically high figures for national tourism.

One of the main indicators of such behavior was made public in our last edition. In January: More than 1 million American and almost 400,000 European tourists arrived in Costa Rica through all ports. ICT believes that the trend of tourists entering the country will continue to increase via newly announced flights, among them the British Airways non-stop from London to San José.

Seats offered to Costa Rica have significantly increased For the first time, Costa Rica has 3,338,001 available airline seats, with 85% going into Juan Santamaría International Airport (2,840,670) and the other 15%, into Daniel Oduber International Airport (497,331).

In total, in 2015, there were 265,262 more seats than in 2014. According to the ICT, in 2015, five carriers decided to fly to Costa Rica international airports for the first time. Southwest Airlines is one of those carriers, having added four different routes, two in each airport.

The second non-stop aerial connection with Europe and the first in history with the United Kingdom was established with British Airways, the carrier that chose Costa Rica asits first destination in Central America. The attraction of new airlines totaled nine new routes from priority markets to Costa Rica. Six airlines increased their flight frequencies, which is an unequivocal sign of the positioning of the nation with respect to tourism.

Money earned is estimated for 2015 at US$ 2 882.4 million, which is about US$246 million more than for 2014. This demonstrates the dominance of tourism in the national economy.

Tourism and its sector authorities project that visitors´ average stay was more than 13 nights, and the average expense for this term was higher than US$1,400.

According to specialists, Costa Rica registers one of the longest stays in the world. “In the tourism sector we must keep on working together so that the industry continues making progress and generating benefits for the country in general and for almost 600,000 people in particular that directly or indirectly work in the field.

We face a cut-throat competition; therefore we are challenged to be even more innovative to promote our destination, to show our competitive advantages, our culture and authenticity, in order to ensure quality and an excellent customer service, which are the main aspects of our attraction,” Ventura highlighted.

 

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