The International Surfing Association (ISA) 2009 World Surfing Games, held in Playa Hermosa and Jacó from Aug. 1-8, was officially the most attended and covered event in the history of Costa Rican sports.
During the eight-day tournament, more than 70,000 spectators visited Hermosa beach, on the central Pacific coast, to watch surfers from 35 different countries compete for titles in the Men´s and Women´s Open and longboard competitions. According to the ISA, the 70,000-plus audience was the biggest turnout ever recorded for a surfing event.
The Jacó and Playa Hermosa region reaped the benefit of the heavy volume of tourists. Hotels, restaurants and businesses in Jacó have reported earnings of more than $2.5 million during the eight days of competition. The money made during the competition is three times more than the average sales expected from a regular tourism high season in Jacó.
More than 100 different media outlets covered the event, including more than 50 international publications, news and radio stations. Coverage of the event was offered in Spanish, English, French and Portuguese.
“Today, the country of Costa Rica, thanks to the results that transcended our expectations for the event, has shown that it is a country that surfs at the highest level and receives great support from fans across the country,” José Ureña, president of the Surf Federation of Costa Rica and coach of the national team.