Just over half of hotel rooms in Costa Rica were occupied during the first two weeks of this month, when most Ticos enjoyed mid-year vacations. Average occupancy was 57.56 percent, which was far from the 67.64 percent expected by hotel owners in a previous survey, according to the National Tourism Chamber (CANATUR).
Chamber President Pablo Abarca said the FIFA World Cup and the great performance of Costa Rica’s national team were the main factors affecting demand for hotel services.
“Local tourists chose to spend money on other products and services rather than taking advantage of the vacation period to visit tourism destinations. Also, Costa Rica’s excellent performance meant more people were connected to the World Cup, and that affected more than half of the holiday period,” Abarca said.
CANATUR surveyed 115 hotel owners from across the country, and 51 percent said the World Cup was bad for business. Beach hotels were the most affected, with 63 percent of those surveyed blaming football for a decrease in tourist visits.
Hotels in the Northern Zone registered the best numbers, with 71.82 percent occupancy, while those in the South Pacific had the lowest rates at 50.51 percent.
The tourism sector plans to continue offering discounts and other promotions, and they hope Ticos will take advantage in coming months.
Costa Rica celebrates Mother’s Day on Aug. 15, and this year, the holiday falls on a Friday. Hotels and other tourist businesses already are preparing special prices and other promotions for that weekend.