Tourism: Less Travel, Less Expense

Because of the country's economic situation, between 2017 and 2018 there was a 2% drop in the number of Costa Ricans who left from Juan Santamaria Airport and 4% in total expenditures abroad.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Aeris Costa Rica figures detail that between 2017 and 2018 the number of national departures from Juan Santamaria Airport went from 793,000 to 780,000. Regarding 2019 data, up to September the figure reaches 579,000.

With regard to the expenditure made by Costa Ricans on trips abroad, the Central Bank estimates that in 2017 the amount reached $895 million and in 2018 fell to $862 million. For the first semester of 2019, expenses of $421 million are recorded.

This decrease is reported in a context of economic slowdown, since the Monthly Economic Activity Index reported in May a 1.3% year-on-year increase, one of the lowest growth rates reported in recent years, as a similar variation was not recorded since November 2013.

Fernando Naranjo, an economist with experience in the airline industry, told Nacion.com that "... the factors influencing this decline are: the degree of indebtedness that limits people. Family income, in real terms, has decreased this year because salaries, both public and private, in current values (without subtracting inflation), have remained practically the same for a year and a half."

Sary Valverde, president of the Chamber of Tourism and the Costa Rican Association of Travel Agencies, explained that "... The previous year was influenced by factors such as the uncertainty generated by the fiscal crisis and the approval of the Law to strengthen Public Finance. This year, in particular, has been adapted from the implementation of VAT.

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More on this topic

Tourist Expenditure Increases to 4%

October 2019

During the first semester of 2019, foreign tourists in Costa Rica spent $2,228 million, exceeding by 3.8% what was reported in the same period of 2018.

Data from the Central Bank of Costa Rica indicate that between January and June 2018 and the same period in 2019, tourist spending increased by $81 million, from $2,147 million to $2,229 million.

Tourist Arrivals Grew 4% up to June 2019

August 2019

During the first half of the year, 1.73 million visitors arrived in Costa Rica, a figure 3.9% higher than that reported in the same period in 2018, behavior that is explained by the rise in the arrival of tourists from North America.

Figures from the Costa Rican Tourism Institute specify that only during June of this year, the arrival of 249 thousand visitors was registered, 11% more than those reported in the same month of 2018.

Tourism in Costa Rica: Lights and Shadows

March 2019

Although between 2017 and 2018 the average spending of tourists in Costa Rica fell 14%, businessmen estimate that the country has the capacity to absorb more demand.

Figures from the Costa Rican Tourism Institute (ICT) specify that in the last two years the average expenditure made by tourists who arrive in the country decreased by $226, going from $1,561 in 2017 to $1,335 in 2018, and the stay per person remains around 12 nights.

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Visits by foreigners to undergo medical procedures in Costa Rica last year generated $437 million, 5% more than was registered in 2016.

According to figures from the Central Bank of Costa Rica, medical tourism revenues have shown sustained growth, as in 2015, 2016 and 2017 there were reports of increases in relation to each of the preceding years of 9%, 16% and 5% respectively.

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