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Gradual recovery: International arrivals to Costa Rica increased in December

January 13, 2021

Costa Rica welcomed nearly 75,000 people in December, almost double the prior month, according to Tourism Board (ICT) data.

International arrivals to Costa Rica tallied 74,974 people in the final month of 2020, an increase of 37,401 people compared to November (37,573 arrivals). Of the December arrivals:

  • The majority came from the United States (45,660 people).
  • 4,452 people came from Canada, the second-highest figure.
  • 11,750 people arrived from Europe, with France being their most-common country of origin.

The December numbers represents a 77% decrease over the same month in 2019, when nearly 327,000 people entered Costa Rica.

“Uncertainty and restrictions related to the pandemic caused world tourism to collapse, and our country received a third of the tourists who normally visit Costa Rica,” said Tourism Minister Gustavo Segura.

Segura expressed optimism that U.S. tourism has rebounded strongly and that 20 airlines have resumed service to Costa Rica. However, the pandemic situation and travel restrictions imposed in Europe have limited visitors from that market.

Costa Rican tourism could further be impacted by a new U.S. policy requiring all returning international air travelers to obtain a negative coronavirus test.

“World tourism is still under the effects of the pandemic, which makes it difficult to make projections or estimates for the future,” Segura said.

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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