Costa Rican tourism sector hopes high season will rejuvenate low year

November 27, 2009

The official first day of tourism high season began Tuesday, as Dec. 1 normally marks the day that many hotels across the country hike rates in expectation of an increased amount of tourists during the four-month stretch from December through April.

But this year might be a little different.

Harry Bodaan, the owner of La Mansión Inn in the central Pacific town of Quepos, says he will delay the seasonal price hike almost through the end of the month, hoping to attract more guests during the first weeks of December. Judging by the state of tourism, other tourism businesses may follow suit.

Due to the worldwide economic crisis, the past three months have been particularly difficult for Costa Rican tourism businesses. In September and October, tourism numbers were the lowest in years, including a drop of over 12,000 tourists in October 2009 versus October 2008. With the atypical fluctuations in the numbers of tourists, businesses plan to alter strategies for the upcoming months, as economic instability has left them unsure of what to expect.

“Everybody was doing well for the year until about August. The last 90 days the bottom dropped out,” said Harry Bodaan, owner of La Mansión Inn in the central Pacific town of Quepos, a member of the Chamber of Commerce in Manuel Antonio. “It´s showed us that we can´t rest on our laurels and expect tourism to stay up. It´s time to roll up our sleeves and work hard to promote our region (Manuel Antonio) to markets that have not been exploited.”

Bodaan said the area business associations are promoting the region at international events, such as at a boat show in Fort Lauderdale, in the U.S. state of Florida, last week.

“The U.S. economy is hurting and people are hanging on to their money tighter than usual,” Bodaan said. “We´ve learned it´s important to be marketing at all times, as we´ve seen others who stood by idly expecting tourists to come have been hit pretty hard by the recession.”

According to the Costa Rican Tourism Board, just over 1.59 million tourists visited the country from January through October 2009. Though the final two months of the year have yet to be tallied, it is widely understood that overall tourism figures will see a decrease from the banner year of 2008, when nearly 2.1 million tourists came to Costa Rica.

You may be interested

Strong winds cause three deaths in Costa Rica, one in El Salvador
Weather
1138 views
Weather
1138 views

Strong winds cause three deaths in Costa Rica, one in El Salvador

AFP - December 10, 2017

Three people have died in Costa Rica, includiing two Swiss tourists, and one in El Salvador as a result of…

6 camouflaged Costa Rican creatures you probably haven’t seen
Environment and Wildlife
2026 views
Environment and Wildlife
2026 views

6 camouflaged Costa Rican creatures you probably haven’t seen

Lindsay Fendt - December 9, 2017

The jungle can be a scary place, and even for some of the fiercest of Costa Rica’s creatures, sometimes the…

National Geographic-Lindblad Expeditions ship makes first visit to Osa Peninsula
Cruises
1929 views
Cruises
1929 views

National Geographic-Lindblad Expeditions ship makes first visit to Osa Peninsula

The Tico Times - December 8, 2017

National Geographic and Lindblad Expeditions touched down for the first time on Costa Rica's renowned Osa Peninsula this week for…