Boston, MA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 12/31/2013 -- The Costa Rica tourism report examines the significant long-term potential in the local tourism industry. It raises concerns about the proliferation of drug-trafficking throughout Central America, which poses a challenge to Costa Rican authorities and could deter tourism to the region. We also analyse the growth strategies being employed by the country to continue to attract arrivals, including airport and port expansions, as well as continued efforts to remain an eco-tourism destination.
A report from the Costa Rica Tourism Institute is forecasting strong growth in the country's hotel sector over the next two years. The Instituto Costarricense de Turismo (ICT) is targeting 1, 309 new rooms to be added by November 2014. The institute noted that seven major hotel projects are currently under way in Costa Rica, which the ICT views as a positive signal of strong interest in the sector and growing competition. A particular sub-sector that is showing positive signs of growth is the vacation rentals sector, which is expanding well along the Pacific coast, especially around Guanacaste.
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Another factor that is boosting arrivals to Costa Rica is its growing popularity as a location for honeymoons or destination weddings. Costa Rica is well known as an eco-destination but its good transport links and plethora of high-end hotels are making it increasingly popular, especially with tourists from North America. Increasing flight routes to Costa Rica are also helping to boost arrivals, with United Airlines launching non-stop flights between Chicago and Washington-Dulles to San Jose in mid-2013
Key forecasts for Costa Rica's tourism industry:
- BMI has raised its forecast for tourist arrivals from North America in 2013, with 1.1mn visitors forecast for 2013. This is then set to increase steadily to 1.4mn by 2016.
- BMI has raised its forecast for outbound air transport passengers over the forecast period, targeting a total of 2.04mn passengers by 2017, up from 1.9mn in 2012.
- BMI is forecasting arrivals growth of 1.0% in 2013, to 2.37mn. Outbound tourist departures are forecast to grow at a higher rate of 2.13%, taking outbound tourists to 345,160.
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