San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Costa Rica pushes winter marketing campaign in the United States

Costa Rica is bombarding U.S. roadways and subway lines with images of parrots, toucans and sloths in the hopes of convincing some snow-ravaged Americans to book a ticket south.

The marketing campaign, led by the Costa Rican Tourism Institute, began in December and will last through February, with billboards and subway signs appearing in New York, Chicago and San Francisco.

According to a press release from the government-run tourism agency, these three cities have the “best prospects” for increased trips to the Central American eco- and adventure-tourism mecca.

“Fifty seven percent of the most dedicated environmentalists live in California,” the release read. “The most promising of these citizens have an income greater than $100,000 a year.”

“This campaign is looking to encourage people from the United States to travel to Costa Rica,¨ said Costa Rican Tourism Minister Carlos Ricardo Benavides. “And leave behind the cold of the winter for the sun of our beaches and the warmth of the Costa Rican people.”

The ad campaign presents 12 distinct designs with images of animals, birds, beaches and mountain trails “which are among the [features] that most American tourists look for when coming to Costa Rica.”  

Costa Rica also ran a 15-second video on a giant screen in Times Square in New York City, which is seen by an estimated 1.5 million people a day. The tourism institute said the clip was played over a thousand times during the 32 days it ran.

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