Despite incidents that may have dissuaded international tourism to the country, more people visited Costa Rica in 2018 than in 2017.
According to data from the Costa Rican Tourism Board, the country welcomed 3,016,667 worldwide visitors last year. That’s up nearly 57,000 people from 2017, when ICT recorded 2,959,869 arrivals.
The increase comes in spite of September’s public-sector strike, which small-business owners posited had decreased visitors to some areas of the country. Last year also featured the highly publicized deaths of three female tourists, including two in a 24-hour span in August.
The tourism growth continues a long trend. Since 2010, Costa Rica has attracted more visitors than in the year prior, according to ICT.
The ICT’s data shows more than half of tourists to Costa Rica, or 1,580,991 people, originated in North America. Of those, 80% came from the United States.
In 2018, 1,760,695 people arrived in Costa Rica via Juan Santamaría International Airport, which this month added four boarding gates. ICT says 552,589 entered via Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport in Liberia.
This story was made possible thanks to The Tico Times 5 % Club. If only 5 percent our readers donated at least $2 a month, we’d have our operating costs covered and could focus on bringing you more original reporting from around Costa Rica. We work hard to keep our reporting independent and groundbreaking, but we can only do it with your help. Join The Tico Times 5% Club and help make stories like this one possible.