Costa Rica welcomed more than 117,000 international travelers at its airports in June, the largest single-month figure since March 2020.
The country received 117,527 arrivals last month, continuing an upward trend that has persisted through much of 2021. Each month since March 2021 has been Costa Rica’s best for international travel during the pandemic.
The United States remains the main source market for tourists to Costa Rica. In June, 94,750 U.S. Americans entered Costa Rica — representing 80% of the total for June.
Daniel Oduber Quirós Airport in Liberia, Guanacaste, had a particularly impressive month, welcoming nearly as many people in June 2021 as it did in June 2019. Juan Santamaría Airport (SJO), on the other hand, had about a 50% drop.
“These are not minor achievements; they are very significant achievements for the country,” said Gustavo Segura, Tourism Minister, in a press release.
“We are very proud to see reflected in these numbers the intense work to raise our tourism industry with the attraction of airlines, the destination promotion strategies with a limited budget, the health protocols and the excellent quality of service provided by our private sector.”
So far in 2021, Costa Rica has welcomed 362,435 people from the United States.
Nine airlines offer direct connections between Costa Rica and the United States: Delta, United, Alaska, American, JetBlue, Spirit, Sun Country (seasonally), Frontier and Southwest. All U.S.-based carriers that served Costa Rica before the pandemic have resumed service.
Tourism is one of Costa Rica’s principal economic drivers. Before the pandemic, it contributed to 8.2% of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) and created 9% of the nation’s jobs, according to the ICT.
The unemployment rate in Costa Rica is 17.3%, among the region’s highest.
While Costa Rica is welcoming tourists from anywhere in the world, measures related to the pandemic continue to complicate international travel. The United States, for example, requires a negative Covid-19 test before returning on a flight from abroad. And in Europe, the United Kingdom has added Costa Rica to its “red list.”