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Number of tourists to Costa Rica increases despite strike

December 18, 2018

According to data from the Costa Rican Tourism Board (ICT), more people visited the country in September and October 2018 than over the same period in 2017.

The increase comes despite feared impacts resulting from the public-sector strike that began Sept. 10 and led the United States Embassy to publish an alert telling tourists to exercise caution in the country.

The ICT report, released this week, tallied 333,475 international arrivals to Costa Rica in September and October of this year. That’s up more than 3,300 people from the 330,158 people who visited during those months in 2017.

Data for November has not yet been released.

While promising, the monthly numbers don’t account for all tourist activity — which comprises 6.7 percent of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product. The ICT releases annual reports that more closely analyze data for the year, including financial impacts and provinces visited by visitors.

Several small-business owners throughout Costa Rica told The Tico Times in September that they had experienced an uptick in cancellations, while the vice president of Costa Rica’s National Chamber of Tourism blamed the strikes for a 50-percent decrease in reservations with travel agencies.

Small-business owners on the beach town of Puerto Viejo told The Tico Times last week that they had suffered through a slow October and November, when the rainy season in other parts of the country often drives more tourists there.

Though the public-sector strikes have ended, Costa Rica again made international headlines when a tourist from the United States, Carla Stefaniak, was murdered near Escazú in late November.


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