San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Hotels Almost Full For First Trimester

HOTELS will operate at nearly 90%occupancy during the first trimester of2005, 10% more than in 2004, saidWilliam Rodríguez, president of theNational Tourism Chamber (CANATUR).“With respect to 2004, we hope thisfigure increases more than 10% in thefirst trimester, which would be an importantfactor in contributing to making thishigh season (from December to April)one of the most productive for the country,”he said.Rodríguez said the primary reasonsfor the increase in tourism is good promotionin foreign countries, the arrival ofmore international flights to DanielOduber International Airport in the northernprovince of Guanacaste, and thegrowing interest of Costa Ricans inexploring their own country.The businessman added that he hopes2005 will close with a 14% increase inhotel occupancy, compared to 2004.Costa Rica has nearly 38,000 hotelrooms.Tourism Minister Rodrigo Castro haspredicted that this year Costa Rica willsee an overall increase in tourism of 10%compared to 2004 (TT, Jan. 7).According to CANATUR, the mostvisited tourist areas are in Guanacaste andLa Fortuna, near the active ArenalVolcano.In 2004, approximately 1.5 milliontourists visited the country, and generatedapproximately $1.6 billion, equivalent to8.7% of the gross domestic product.–

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