Tourism in Costa Rica: Lights and Shadows

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.

Friday, March 22, 2019

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.

You may be interested in "Tourism in Central America Loses Strength" and "Tourism: Optimistic Outlook for 2019".

The president of the National Chamber of Tourism (Canatur), Sary Valverde, told Nacion.com that "... Costa Rica is at a good time, not only to increase the number of visitors each year but also to increase the range of activities and services offered within its territory."

Valverde added that "... Costa Rica still has the capacity to absorb demand. However, it must continually analyze how we are with the numbers to avoid an eventual saturation. " Valverde said: "The country has great natural beauty and more and more tourists are willing to pay for it".

Regarding the arrival of cruise ships to the country, the ICT estimates that for the 2018-2019 season will arrive at the five main Costa Rican ports a total of 249 vessels, equivalent to a 9% increase over the previous period.

See "Average expenditure per tourist increased 9% in eight years" and "ICT estimates a 9% increase in cruise ship arrivals in the 2018 and 2019 seasons".

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More on this topic

Guatemala and Cruise Tourism

May 2018

For the 2017-2018 season, the arrival of 165,000 tourists on board 120 cruise ships is expected, which will represent an increase of 33% over the previous period.

The general director of the Guatemalan Tourism Institute (Inguat), Jorge Mario Chajon, stated that "... the current cruise season that began in September and will end next August, will be the best ever in Guatemala, both terms of the arrival of vessels, as well as the number of cruise passengers and the projected foreign exchange income. 'A total of 120 cruises will arrive during the season, which is 25% more than last year'."

More Cruise Ships Arriving in Costa Rica

March 2018

During the 2016-2017 season, 250 cruise ships arrived at the country's ports, representing an increase of 34% over the previous season, and the number of tourists on board increased by 16%.

According to official figures, between the seasons 2015-2016 and 2016-2017, the number of tourists who arrived on board cruises grew by 16%, rising from 242,930 to 280,854.

Nicaragua: Optimism Over Cruise Season

October 2017

For the period 2017/18 81 cruise ships are expected to arrive in the country, which represents a 14% increase over the previous season.

The increase in arrivals of cruise ships is combined with greater availability of infrastructure and reduction in landing times, since, according to the National Port Company have "... new docks allow tourists arriving in San Juan del Sur on a cruise to disembark in an hour and a half, which is half the time it took before ... ".

Visa Exemption for Colombian Tourists

October 2016

From November 4 2016 to May 2017 Colombian tourists arriving in Costa Rica as cruise passengers will not require a consular visa to enter the country.

The measure aims to boost trade and tourism in the province of Limón, providing more facilities and agility to Colombian tourists visiting the country for a few hours while the cruise makes its stop in Puerto Limon.

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