San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Costa Rican hotels saw low occupancy during mid-year vacations

Fewer tourists stayed in hotels during recent mid-year holidays in Costa Rica, and owners reported that occupancy rates were 12 percentage points lower than those obtained last year.

The figure comes from a survey conducted by the National Tourism Chamber (CANATUR) among 102 hosting businesses.

Occupation during the period barely surpassed 55 percent, while the previous year, hotels reported occupancy rates close to 68 percent.

The results fell short of expectations by hotel owners, who anticipated occupancy rates of at least 62 percent, mainly driven by a boost in domestic tourism.

But local tourists this year account for only 45.5 percent of total visits to tourism businesses, nearly the same number as last year, when they accounted for 45.1 percent of total visitors, according to CANATUR.

CANATUR President Isabel Vargas said in a press release that “the country’s current economic situation is not allowing a considerable percentage of the population to take vacations.”

Vargas added that although hotels offered deals to attract more Costa Rican vacationers, “domestic tourists are reluctant to spend much on tourism.”

The survey also found that beach hotels were most preferred by tourists during mid-year vacations, with occupancy rates of 61.31 percent, while hotels in mountainous areas totaled 50.84 percent. Hotels in the northwestern province of Guanacaste attracted the most guests during the two-week vacation period in early July, with 64.4 percent, while the least-visited areas are located in the northern zone.

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