Boston, MA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 03/28/2014 -- 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.
Costa Rica held the first round of presidential elections on February 2, with political outsider Luis Guillermo Solis and Johnny Araya of the ruling Partido Liberacion Nacional party emerging as the two leading candidates. The run-off will be held in April, with Solis attempting to hold on to his slim first-round lead. Solis is a neophyte politician running on an anti-corruption platform and has benefited from a wave of popular dissatisfaction with the established political parties, particularly the incumbent administration of President Laura Chinchilla. Solis has pledged to increase investment in the country's infrastructure and introduce a capital gains tax.
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Neither of the candidates has produced a specific tourism policy, indicating that they are in broad consensus about maintaining the current policy. This suggests that current levels of investment in the tourist industry would remain the same under either Solis or Araya as president, while increased infrastructure investment would continue the ongoing progress towards opening up new parts of Costa Rica, facilitating further exploration by tourists.
Key forecasts for Costa Rica's tourism industry:
- BMI has extended its forecast period to 2018 and has added new forecasts for all data sets.
- BMI is forecasting arrivals growth of 4.43% in 2014, marking a return to growth after a decline of 0.13% in 2013. This will be driven by a pickup in arrivals from North America, which will grow by 4.83% yearon- year.
- BMI is forecasting hotels and restaurants industry value to grow steadily over the forecast period, reaching US$1.8bn by 2018, from US$1.7bn in 2013. Industry value grew by 4.44% in 2013, reflecting sustained investment into the sector.
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