San José, Costa Rica, since 1956
La pura vida

Tourists flocked to Costa Rica in record numbers in 2013

Costa Rica welcomed some 2.4 million tourists during 2013, an increase of 3.6 percent compared to 2012, the Costa Rican Tourism Board (ICT) reported Thursday.

The Central American country logged 2,427,941 international arrivals, according to a report from the state tourism agency.

During the last four years of President Laura Chinchilla’s administration, which concludes on May 8, tourism has grown 15.6 percent.

The ICT noted that the biggest growth in the number of travelers came from tourists flying to Costa Rica, which was up 4.2 percent.

Costa Rica is especially popular with Gringos. Some 39 percent of tourists here are from the United States, while another 12.4 percent come from Europe. The remaining tourists are from other parts of Central America, South America and the rest of the word.

The ICT did not release other information, like how much revenue tourism generated last year.

In a statement released Thursday, the National Tourism Chamber (CANATUR), an organization made up of private-sector business owners, said they were not satisfied with 3.6 percent growth.

“We always consider any increase in the number of visitors as positive, but we can’t say we’re satisfied – it’s not enough,” CANATUR President Isabel Vargas said. “Costa Rica has the natural conditions and a tourist product to attract more travelers than those who are coming now.”

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Totally.bogus.stats. Everybody in the industry knows that the ICT has zero clue.

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James McHardy

Why does the government not let expats pay $100.00 Dollars every three months and let them stay in Costa Rica and spend there money here instead of another country we just left Costa Rica for a three day exit to another country and spent about $700.00 in doing so part of that money would have been spent in Costa Rica

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Colin Brownlee

Just what the country needs… More foreigners that could not make it in their own country and were dissatisfied and disenchanted to come here and spread their ilk.

Even though I am a non-believer, it is truly amazing how many foreigners I see here that don’t make it when it seemed the only reason they were here was to try and make money or stretch a pension cheque.

It’s so clear why they are not happy. What were they expecting? One can get off the plane in San Jose and take a taxi to your hotel and if you were not glued to your iPhone, you could see there was some social issues here and don’t be surprised if the government does not function that well.

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joe weatherall

Nice photo. Where was it taken? How many arrived at each airport, by sea? Any data regarding average stay, money spent? Are there no dates posted on articles other than “so many hours ago”? I really love and respect the TT and hope it can maintain its journalistic standards with the new changes, both internal and external.

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David Boddiger

This was taken at Puntarenas over Christmas/New Year’s break. The average stay and money spent data has not been released yet, but we’ll get it out to you as soon as we have it.

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Gus Montoya

They should show the real numbers, so people can make their own opinions

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I have never trusted these statistics and consider them useless mainly because of their lack of specificity. Certainly I would never use them for planning purposes, or put another way, they not not tools. They serve only for amusement for those who have no vested interests in receiving valid information. Just another way to spend money without receiving anything useful in return, like the satellite doña Laura wants to launch.

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Does the ICT count the 200,000 gringos who reside here on tourist visas and who leave 4 times a year as tourists? That’s 800,000 less real tourists.

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