San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

More Tourists Visit Parks, Rural Sites in 2004

THE number of foreign tourists tovisit Costa Rica’s 155 national parks andprotected areas shot up 27.13% in 2004,for a total of 669,980 tourists, the daily LaNación reported.The record-setting numbers correspondedto the overall tourist boom inCosta Rica last year, said GuillermoMora, assistant director of the NationalSystem of Conservation Areas (SINAC).The number of visitors to the countryrose an estimated 20% last year (TT,Jan. 7).The conservation organization estimatesthat visitors to the parks, whichcharge entrance fees of ¢2,306 ($5) onaverage, generated ¢1.5 billion ($3.2 million)in revenue. However, a 10% drop inCosta Rican visitors somewhat offset therevenue boost from foreign guests.Poás Volcano, north of San José, wasthe most-visited park, with 24.7% of thetotal. Manuel Antonio, on the centralPacific coast, came in second, and IrazúVolcano, east of San José, third.

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