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American visitors to Costa Rica continue to increase

Written by Marisol
WAYRA Instituto de Español

By: Tamarindo News Staff

  • Increase by 6% of tourists from the US by plane.
  • Europe increased by 14.2% and South America, 11.4%.
  • From January to March, both international airports received more visitors, generating upwards of 7.1%.

The Costa Rican Tourism Board (ICT), with data derived from the number of arrivals at both international airports, has reported that good news regarding international visits continues.

Tourism authorities have described year 2018 as an encouraging one in terms of visitors´ arrivals from more and more different destinations.

The US market has always been a main one drawing its citizens to Costa Rica for vacation. The growth in the first three months of the year of American tourists is equivalent to 6% for this first quarter (21,337 more visitors).

The increase is also evident in European numbers with a 14.2% growth, and South American visitors, with an 11.4%, compared to the same period in 2017.

Mauricio Ventura, Minister of Tourism, said that this data is very positive for the tourism industry, since there is excellent growth in all markets of interest.

“Actions taken in marketing, promotion as well as in securing new airlines are revealed in the figures:  a very positive first trimester. Nevertheless, intense monitoring, coordination and team work between the public and private sector is required so that those numbers keep on growing,” Ventura explained.

In a two-year period, the country grew from one direct flight to Spain, provided by Iberia, to nine direct flights from Europe: British Airways and Thomson Airways from the United Kingdom, Condor from Germany, Air France from France, Edelweiss from Switzerland, KLM from Holland (Netherlands), Lufthansa from Germany and Evelop with a charter service from Lisbon, Portugal.

According to Hermes Navarro, Chief of Attraction of Airlines of the ICT, just in January 2018, the ICT reported the generation of more than 95,000 additional airplane seats, thanks to the arrival of new flights and the increase of frequencies by the many airlines that operate in the country.

Airline New seats 2018 Detail
KLM 1,764 Third weekly frequency growth
Air France 27,972 Two weekly flights all year round
Edelweiss 3,768 Third weekly frequency growth
LATAM 26,208 Begins operations three times a week
LATAM 7,224 Increased to four frequencies per week  from March 2018
Alaska 3,977 Daily flight to Liberia in June, July and August 2018
Evelop 2,328 Charter from Portugal, one flight per week, during 6 weeks.
Lufthansa 22,320 Began operations March 29, 2018
Total 95,561
Source: Costa Rican Tourism Board , with data from IOS Partners

Likewise, last year the country launched the campaign “Costa Rica, My Choice, Naturally” in alliance with the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), and CNN International along with CNN TASK, international branding and destinations experts.

As a result  of that partnership, a campaign was developed with a global launch in more than 400 airports in the United States and strengthened in five markets: England and France, Mexico, the United States and Canada. These were chosen for being important for Costa Rica since they account for the largest number of international arrivals to the country, for the existing air connections and for the need to reinforce the positioning in those markets, mainly the North American one.

Additionally, in 2017 Costa Rica had the unprecedented opportunity to become the central character of the USTOA Fair (United States Tour Operators Association), by opening the event with a background interview in front of more than 900 representatives (managers and presidents) of the main wholesale companies in the United States. The organization reports that in 2016 tourist packages marketed by US tour operators had an economic impact of almost $15 billion, covering more than 8.5 million travelers.

There was also a press conference presented by Costa Rica, with 15 highly recognized media editors: Miami Herald, Travel Weekly, Insider Travel Report and Recommend Magazine, among others, to whom the country was presented as a highly competitive destination, a strategy developed for that purpose and the potential of the country for tourism investment.

Almost 970,000 people visited Costa Rica.

Similarly, first quarter of 2018 shows a significant increase in international arrivals. From January to March almost 970,000 arrivals were registered by all routes, for a growth of 5.4%.

75% of the migratory movements were registered by the air, which showed an increase of 7.1% compared to the same period of the previous year

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