The increase in tourism shows that Costa Rica is a world leader in the field of tourism, said authorities.
/ A.M. Costa Rica wire services photo.

-  Published: Friday, February 7, 2020

More than 3 million tourists in 2019

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Tourism Institute reported Wednesday that 3,139,008 tourists arrived in the country during 2019, representing an increase of 122,341 tourists compared to 2018.

According to the institute, this 4.1% increase exceeds the Global Tourism Growth rate of 4% and doubles the average of the American Continent tourism rate by 2%.

The government also announced the signing of the decree for the creation of the National Tourism Competitiveness Council.

The goal of the Council is to further strengthen the tourism sector which is "one of the most competitive industries in the country, strengthening inter-institutional alliances and agreements with the private and public sector, national and international," said the government in its statement.

The increase in tourism, "shows that Costa Rica is a world leader in the field of tourism, which is a fundamental support for equitable development, economic activation and jobs creation," said President Carlos Alvarado.

According to the government, the growth in tourism is due to the strategy that has been developed over the past three decades in the public and private sectors.

Also, the government announced that the Mabrian Technologies SL.  platform rated the perception of quality of the country as a tourist destination at 80.7 points of 100.

Balearic Islands-based Mabrian develops statistics related to the tourism industry.

"2019 was a complex year with variables for world tourism due to factors such as Brexit and Thomas Cook's bankruptcy in the United Kingdom, as well as geopolitical tensions and the slowdown of the global economy," said Marķa Amalia Revelo, minister of Tourism and president of the Tourism Institute.

According to statistics provided by the institute, during the past year, 2,418,300 tourists entered the country via air. Of these, 75.20% entered through the international airport Juan Santamarķa in Alajuela and 24.80% entered through the international airport Daniel Oduber Quiros in Guanacaste.

The top tourist were from the U.S., some 1,283,112 by air during 2019. The second most important visitors came from Europe which provided 500,602 tourists.

According to the institute, the average stay of tourists entering the country by air is 12.6 nights.

According to data from the marketing area of the institute, Costa Rica participated in 2019 in 24 international tourism fairs, mainly in the United States, Canada, Europe, Latin America. Through the fairs, the institute estimates it reached 700,000 people during 2019, the institute said.

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