San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Report: Tourism Outlook Sunny For Semana Santa

If you don’t have travel reservations for Semana Santa, or Easter Week, you’d better act quickly.

According to a study by the National Tourism Chamber (CANATUR), hotels, tour operators and car rental companies expect an 80.2 percent occupancy rate during Semana Santa, which runs from March 28 through April 4.

Using a survey sample of 61 nationwide tourism companies, CANATUR found that the expected occupancy rate for hotels is 81.9 percent, 70.6 percent for tour operators and 93.6 percent for car rental companies. National tourists accounted for 27.5 percent of all reservations in the survey.

“It is important to know how the tourism sector is shaping up for Semana Santa,” said Juan Carlos Ramos, president of CANATUR. “The week has generally represented an increase in national tourists, as well as foreign tourists who come to Costa Rica to enjoy vacation during this time of the year. So far, we are seeing positive results in many areas of the country.”

The study surveyed businesses throughout the country. Of the sites surveyed, CANATUR found that hotels  in the central Pacific region reported the highest expected occupancy rates at 91.6 percent. Travel companies in the Caribbean and northern parts of Guanacaste province also reported an expected occupancy rate of more than 85 percent for the week.

Of the tourism companies surveyed, 18 percent said their tourism outlook for Semana Santa is “much better” than it was last year, 28 percent said it was “better,” and 38 percent said it was about the same.

In 2009, tourism fell by 8 percent in Costa Rica, as over 166,000 fewer tourists visited the country than they did in 2008.

–Adam Williams

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