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December surge helps Costa Rica break tourism records

Costa Rica closed out a record-breaking year for tourism with a strong December. Hotel occupation in the country rose 6.1 percent compared to December 2010, with hotels having on average 62 percent of rooms occupied, according to a press release from the Costa Rica Hotels and Resorts Association.

The country took in 2.2 million tourists in 2011, the most ever. The number represented a 4.6 percent increase from the previous year, according to the Costa Rican Tourism Board. In December 2011, 16,000 more tourisms visited Costa Rican than in December 2010.

For hotels in December, the Central Pacific saw 70 percent occupancy in the region’s hotels. Guanacaste and Puntarenas also neared 70 percent occupancy. The lowest occupancy numbers were in the Central Valley (56 percent), the Caribbean (58 percent) and the Northern Plains (58 percent).

Beach resorts hosted the most visitors, reporting 67 percent occupancy.

The newly opened terminal at the Daniel Oduber Quiros International Airport in Liberia, capital of northwestern Guanacaste province, helped bring the airport a 31.4 percent increase in arrivals compared to the previous year.

 “We are working diligently to attract more airlines to our country, position the destination at international fairs and trade shows and promoting our one-of-a-kind attractions in our core markets,” said Costa Rica Tourism Minister Allan Flores, in a press release.



Region Occupancy percentage
Caribbean 58%
Guanacaste 68%
Northern Plains 58%
Central Pacific 70%
Southern Pacific 60%
Puntarenas 67%
Central Valley 56%
Average 62%

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