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Despite easing restrictions, Costa Rica records gradual tourism recovery

December 7, 2020

Despite eliminating the requirement for a negative coronavirus test and opening its airports to the world, Costa Rica welcomed just 36,044 people in November, according to data shared by the Tourism Board (ICT).

The figure represents more than a threefold increase over October, when the country registered 9,888 air arrivals. In September, 3,371 people landed in Costa Rica, while in August — the month Costa Rica reopened its airports to a limited number of countries — just 1,636 people arrived.

Nearly 70% of the November visitors (24,606 people) came from the United States.

“This signal that we receive from the most important market in Costa Rica is encouraging for more than 600,000 people who directly and indirectly make a living from tourism,” said Gustavo Segura, Tourism Minister.

Total air arrivals to Costa Rica from August to November 2020.
Total air arrivals to Costa Rica from August to November 2020. via ICT. 

The gradual increase in tourists is dwarfed by Costa Rica’s pre-pandemic numbers. In November 2019, 191,346 people arrived to Costa Rica via an international flight. Nearly 92,000 of them came from the United States, while nearly 41,000 came from Europe.

“Regarding future expectations, the Tourism Minister calls for caution, since the current inflow of tourists is less than the 20% of what existed before the pandemic,” a statement from the Tourism Board reads.

During the coronavirus pandemic, tourists must meet Costa Rica’s usual immigration requirements and:

  • Complete an epidemiological digital form or “Health Pass.”
  • Purchase travel insurance that covers accommodation in case of quarantine and COVID-19 medical expenses.

Click here to review Costa Rica’s entry requirements.

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