Costa Rica’s tourism industry is continuing to grow in 2023, with the country receiving 1,338,303 visitors during the first half of the year. This represents a 19.4% increase compared to the same period in 2022, and even surpasses the 2019 numbers.
The increase in tourism is being driven by a number of factors, including the country’s strong safety record, its natural beauty, and its diverse range of activities and attractions. According to tourism authorities, approximately 90% of tourist arrivals to Costa Rica are by air.
In June 2023, 202,235 tourists arrived by plane. Around 142,025 visitors entered through the Juan Santamaría International Airport, and 60,177 through Guanacaste Airport, representing an increase of 10.1% and 5.5%, respectively, compared to the same month in 2022.
The increase in tourism from North America has been particularly strong, with a 21% increase in visitors from the region compared to last year. The ICT mentioned that this year Costa Rica received 792,944 additional visitors from the United States, 148,973 from Canada, and 35,866 from Mexico.
During the first half of the year, arrivals from Europe as a region increased by 9.3% compared to the same period in 2022, with 225,617 tourists.
Likewise, the average expenditure and stay of tourists visiting Costa Rica increased, as shown by data from the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).
Tourism continues to be the engine of the Costa Rican economy. The most recent data from the Continuous Employment Survey of the National Institute of Statistics and Census indicated that the industry generated 158,810 direct jobs in the first quarter of 2023. It also showed a recovery in the accommodation and transportation sectors compared to the first quarter of 2022.
“Our recovery is solid, as shown by the figures for the first half of 2023. The effects of the pandemic are easing throughout the value chain of the tourism sector. This is thanks to the joint work of the public and private sectors. We are aware that not all regions or all companies have recovered in the same way, so we continue to work hard to support them,” said William Rodríguez, Minister of Tourism.
The strong growth in tourism is a positive sign for the Costa Rican economy, and it is expected to continue in the coming months. The country’s tourism industry is well-positioned to capitalize on the growing global demand for sustainable and responsible travel.
Overall, the outlook for tourism in Costa Rica is positive. The country is well-positioned to continue attracting visitors from around the world, and tourism is expected to play a major role in the country’s economic growth in the years to come.