Costa Rica began one of the most awaited seasons for coastal areas: the arrival of cruise ships to the country.
This is fantastic news for the country, especially those in the port provinces since this tourism generates income and jobs for the local communities.
Authorities of the Costa Rican Tourism Institute (ICT) are seeking to strengthen the arrival of large ships and, at the same time, promote the country as an ideal destination for luxury cruise ships and expeditions.
“Costa Rica’s goal is to advance the attraction of expedition and luxury cruise ships that come to Costa Rica. These are ships with a smaller number of people, between 200 and 300 people, who stay more days in the country and spend more,” said Gustavo Alvarado, director of Tourism Management and Consultancy of the ICT.
Vaccination certificates and strict sanitary due to Covid-19 were left behind. With the relaxation of sanitary measures, it is expected that more people will decide to take cruises and the number of visitors will increase.
One of the greatest challenges the country is currently facing is the deterioration of road infrastructure, as the national roads in the Caribbean and the Pacific are currently affected. This would hinder the transportation of tourists and their possibilities to travel within the country.
“We cannot ignore that there are several important challenges; we have a delicate situation in terms of road infrastructure, both for the construction on the road in Limón, as well as what is happening on Route 1 and Route 27. However, all tourism operators are properly prepared to offer tours closer to the areas where the ships arrive,” said the director of Tourism Management and Consultancy of the ICT.
During the past cruise season, 150 ships arrived in the country: 78 docked in Puntarenas, Golfito, and Quepos, while the remaining 72 did so in the port of Limón.
“Cruise ships are an important niche, especially for the coastal areas and some surrounding areas. Passengers get off the boat and take tours in the regions close by or buy local products,” added Alvarado.
The cruise industry generated 2019 an economic impact exceeding $29.2 million and created more than 10 thousand jobs in the country’s coastal communities.