Tourism sector confident of a successful 2018
The national tourism sector is ready to receive the 2018 high season with a renewed and broader offer, as well as a series of strategies to attract more foreigners and win back the domestic public.
The arrival of new direct flights from Europe, Central America and soon South America, plus the projection of economic growth worldwide, are factors that augur a good year for this niche.
Authorities are optimistic about the possibility of exceeding the target of 3 million visitors by the end of 2017 and that this trend will continue for 2018 and the next years.
In fact, the figures confirm this expectation, since from January to August, airway arrivals grew by almost 8% compared to the same period in 2016.
In addition, it is about to start the cruise season (November-May) that would bring at least 240 thousand visitors, especially to the port of Moín.
“The high visitation stage has no specific date, but traditionally it goes from mid-November until the end of Holy Week; the efforts of the sector are aimed at breaking this seasonality by diversifying supply and markets, “said Mauricio Ventura, Minister of Tourism.
In addition to the traditional proposals of adventure and leisure, we are betting on the trends of “wellness”, corporate conventions and the revitalization of culture, to consolidate the country as the ideal destination in the region.
To this end, the Government announced a new tourist identity called “Costa Rica, My Choice Naturally” (Costa Rica, my choice naturally), with which they intend to expose themselves internationally as the perfect place to vacation.
This diversification would break the seasonality of the market and have constant and distributed income throughout the year.
The tourist budget will also be strengthened by the increase in visitation, since the main income is the $ 15 of tax paid by foreigners upon entry; a concept that generated foreign exchange for more than $ 40 million last year.
An important point is that travelers, mainly Europeans, do not consider Costa Rica an expensive nation to visit, since they prefer the experience during the stay and the treatment they receive.
While this happens, hoteliers prepare themselves with the desire to reconquer local tourists, especially in the areas of Guanacaste and the Central Pacific.
Visitors spend an average of 13 nights, with the exception of Europeans who stay 17, with an approximate cost of $ 1,500, as most travel with their families.
“For local tourists we work our package ‘Vacations tailored’, with which we seek to offer a choice of discounts or amenities ranging from a boat tour to a romantic dinner; for foreigners we work with other commercial partners, “said Mauricio Muñoz, Director of Marketing and Sales at the Hotel Mangroove, located in Papagayo.
Guanacaste is going through an important moment in terms of tourist investment, for example, Discovery Park and the remodeling of resorts like the Four Seasons. This added to the growth of almost 35% in the operations of the airport Daniel Oduber, would keep to the province like the letter of presentation in this sector.
The hotel occupancy for high season could exceed 70%, after the previous June reached 54.5%, according to the Institute of Tourism (ICT).
“We see this stage with great optimism for the diversification of the market, we have attractive plans to give the public what they are looking for. This year the businessmen are optimistic because nothing can be seen that indicates otherwise, “said Haslene Cordoba, Marketing Manager of Villa Caletas.
In the meantime, the capital hotels urge the authorities not only to focus on attracting tourists to coastal areas, because the city has cultural attractions that would allow to democratize the income generated by this activity.
“The occupation in San Jose depends almost 100% of corporate travelers, we believe that the country’s strategy should be further strengthened to make the capital a hub of connections with other tourist destinations,” said Rebeca Zúñiga, Sales Manager for Tryp Sabana.
Another of the country strategies for this time of visitation is the conditioning of eight aerodromes in rural areas to improve the transfer of tourists to national parks and at the same time reactivate the domestic flight market.
This investment exceeds ¢ 13 billion so far this year.