By Tamarindo News Staff Photo by: Soledad Bartolelli
In 2015, Costa Rica received more than 2.6 million visitors.
Tourism provides 150,000 direct and 450,000 indirect jobs.
In terms of tourism, year 2015 will be remembered as a historic time.
The growth of the industry has received acknowledgement as the “engine of national progress.”
Investments related to tourism have stimulated a growth in the workforce at a time when unemployment has reached 9%.
These investments employed 150,000 people directly and another 450,000 indirectly, which represent 26% of the national work force. Mauricio Ventura, Minister of Tourism, said the positive figures show the results of the actions made by the Costa Rican Tourism Board (ICT) to promote the country’s brand.
“Last year, there were more than 2.6 million international arrivals by all ports, which means an increase of 5.5% compared to 2014.
There were more than 1.8 million tourists registered only by air, which was the most significant. Almost 70% of international arrivals are registered by air,” Ventura explained.
The tourism industry represents 5.4% of the Gross Domestic Product, 29.6% of total exports and more than 40% of service exports. This sector is the undisputed leader, among others such as communication, construction, insurance and financial, IT and information services.
Visitors´ average stay is one of the longest in the world: It exceeds 13 nights and registers an average expense of about US$ 1,400.
Likewise, just last year, tourism revenues amounted to more than US$ 2,800 million in foreign currency, which is an increase of 9% compared to 2014.
United States and Europe: priority markets In 2015, the main priority markets for Costa Rica, the United States and Europe, reached historic figures.
The Minister of Tourism said that, for the first time, 1 million American tourists arrived by all ports, which represented 40% of the international arrivals registered. In the case of Europe, 400,000 tourists arrived by all ports, 300,000 of which entered by air.
Europe is the second priority market for Costa Rica. According to Ventura, it is clear that in the future, this country can expect a sharp rise in the number of European tourists arriving given that British Airways and Air France have recently announced an increase of their flights to Costa Rica. Last April 27, British Airways inaugurated the non-stop flight London San José. Air France will operate Paris San José beginning November 2.