Representatives of a total of 393 tourism companies will gather in Costa Rica next month looking for business opportunities here during Expotur 2015, the country’s biggest tourism promotion event.
This year mark the 31st edition of the fair that will be held on May 7 and 8 at Wyndham Herradura hotel, outside of San José.
Of the total number of attending companies, 242 are local or from the Central American region, while another 151 are wholesalers from around the world. Foreign buyers come from a total of 29 countries, according to the Costa Rican Tourism Board (ICT).
On May 9 and 10, the fair will be open to the public and local companies will display their products and services hoping to attract local tourists with special prices and packages.
Tourism Minister Wilhelm von Breymann said this year’s exhibits at Expotur will focus on cultural and rural tourism.
“We decided to boost our culture as a competitiveness feature of the country’s tourism offer. We’re aiming to increase our competitiveness with the cultural experiences tourists can live here as an added value,” von Breymann said.
Besides detailed information on local businesses’ products, services and special promotions, the fair will offer visitors a variety of extra activities including workshops, music, dance and other cultural presentations. Souvenir shops will also be selling Tico products.
Massi Devoto, president of the Costa Rican Association of Tourism Professionals, said promotion efforts during Expotur are responsible for an estimated 4 percent of tourists coming to Costa Rica each year. That represents up to 100,000 travelers, according to ICT’s figures from last year.
Tourism board officials in January reported that revenues from Costa Rica’s travel sector last year totaled $2.6 billion, an 8.3 percent increase over the $2.4 billion registered in 2013.