Costa Rica closed 2021 with a total of 1,347,055 tourists, of which 94% (1,270,483) came into the airports of San Jose and Liberia. This number exceeds the number of 1.3 million visitors that was predicted in December. This is according to the General Directorate of Migration and Alien Affairs analyzed by the Costa Rican Tourism Institute.
Most of the of tourists to Costa Rica came from the United States with a total of, 852 182. This is 64.4% better then 2019. The 2nd largest came from Europe with a total 212 639 tourists. This amounts to more then 50% of what was coming into Costa Rica two years ago. December represented the best month of the year with the arrival of 216,678 tourists by land, sea and air.
The figures for 2021 show that the tourism industry is making a coming back with an increase in jobs and the economy during what was and is a difficult time. It also illustrates that Costa Rica needs to continue to be vigilant in the application of sanitary protocols in order for Costa Rica to stay as one of the top tourist destinations proclaimed Gustavo Alvarado, Minister of Tourism.
The increase in the number of flights to Costa Rica as well as and the return of the of all airlines that flew prior to the start of the pandemic and the addition of of 2 new airlines (Iberojet and Frontier) resulted in the two international airports having a banner year in 2021. The figures are as follows:
- Juan Santamaría Airport added 882,424 tourists, representing 48.6% of arrivals in 2019;
- Guanacaste Airport (Daniel Oduber Quirós), added 288,054 tourists, equivalent to 64.7% of tourists that came in 2019.
With these arrivals by air, the way most tourists come to Costa Rica, 52.5% of the pre-pandemic arrivals are accounted for.