Costa Rican hotel operators expect occupancy rates of an estimated 82 percent during Easter Holy Week, according to a survey released Thursday by the National Tourism Chamber (CANATUR).
Hotel owners at Central Pacific beaches and at the Monteverde Cloud Forest area are the most optimistic, reporting an average occupancy expectation of 95 percent, while those in the Central Valley showed the lowest with 67 percent.
Easter Holy Week this year runs from April 13-20, but April 11 also is a holiday celebrating Costa Rica’s national hero, Juan Santamaría.
“An extended vacation period during high season is key for entrepreneurs to project of an increase in hotel demand,” CANATUR President Isabel Vargas said.
Despite the positive numbers, only 38.1 percent of those surveyed expected occupancy figures to be better than last year, while 45 percent said occupation rates will be similar. Just under 17 percent said occupancy rates will be lower.
The survey also found an unusual behavior in occupancy numbers just two weeks before Easter, as hotels in mountainous regions showed the highest occupancy rates at 58 percent, while beach hotels reported 56 percent and city hotels reported 37.89. Tourists during dry season traditionally prefer beach hotels.
The CANATUR survey was conducted during the third week of March among 126 lodging businesses in Guanacaste, Puntarenas, Limón, the Northern Region and the Central Valley.