2023, the year of all records for Costa Rican tourism
Costa Rica, known for its exceptional biodiversity and ecotourism initiatives, is on course to break tourism records in 2023. According to the Costa Rican Tourism Institute (ICT), the first nine months of the year saw the arrival of 1,848,208 visitors by air, a promising figure that heralds a record year, surpassing even the pre-pandemic statistics for 2019.
Growth in air tourism has been significant, with an increase of 16.4% compared to the same period in 2022. This positive trend is a clear indicator of the sector’s robust recovery from the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Minister of Tourism, William Rodríguez, is justifiably optimistic, anticipating “three promising months” for the end of the year and expecting “a spectacular year“.
ICT projections suggest that the country could welcome up to 2.5 million tourists by air by the end of the year, surpassing the 2,117,960 arrivals of 2022 and even the 2,418,300 of 2019. These figures are not just statistics, they represent a tangible improvement in the quality of life in rural areas and a significant contribution to the country’s economy thanks to foreign currency.
The North American contribution
The majority of tourists will come from North America, mainly the United States, with 1,326,744 visitors, an increase of 18.2% compared to 2022. Europe is not to be outdone, with a 4.9% increase in air arrivals, led by France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands and Switzerland.
Visitors are attracted by Costa Rica’s natural wealth, outdoor activities, sunny beaches, as well as its culture and gastronomy. These elements continue to make Costa Rica a destination of choice for international travellers.
Travelling Costa Ricans
Interestingly, the number of Costa Ricans travelling abroad has increased by 38%, with 881,760 people visiting mainly the United States and Mexico, compared with 638,559 in 2022.
Costa Rica is positioned as a leading destination for tourism in 2023. With a strategy focused on sustainability and authenticity, the country is well on the way to setting new records and reinforcing its image as an ecotourism paradise on the world stage.
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