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Costa Rica Sets New Tourism Records in 2023

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Costa Rica celebrated a banner year for tourism in 2023, cementing its reputation as a premier global destination according to new data from the nation’s General Directorate of Migration. The country welcomed a historic 2,471,150 visitors by air from January to December 2023, a remarkable 16.7% increase over 2022 arrivals. This influx represents resilient growth of 2.2% compared to pre-pandemic levels in 2019, surpassing Costa Rica’s previous air arrival record.

“These positive and historic figures exceed our pre-pandemic benchmarks,” said Minister of Tourism William Rodriguez in a statement. “In 2019, we had 2,418,300 air visitors, and in 2023 we welcomed over 53,000 additional tourists. This achievement reflects our strategic promotion efforts in key markets, restoring flight connectivity, and public-private collaboration to craft exceptional visitor experiences.”

Arrivals hit new highs in December 2023 with 281,095 visitors by air, an 18% year-over-year surge. The two main airports saw significant expansion over last December, with Juan Santamaría International Airport processing 181,002 travelers (up 18%) and Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport servicing 100,051 guests (a 28.5% increase). Air arrivals also elevated 10% above December 2019 levels systemwide.

North American markets powered much of the expansion according to the statistical analysis. The region sent over 1.75 million visitors in 2023, an impressive 18.6% year-over-year climb. The United States led with 1,431,644 arrivals followed by Canada with 242,970 visitors. Mexico contributed 81,964 guests.

European nations also factored prominently in the growth equation. The continent delivered 431,980 tourists from January through December, a 5.1% improvement. Arrivals from France, Germany, and the Netherlands rose substantially by 13.4%, 13.1%, and 9.8% respectively.

Minister Rodriguez credited the joint efforts between public and private sector stakeholders to restore passenger volumes through coordinated tourism marketing, rebuilt flight connectivity, and innovative hospitality concepts. “With new all-time highs in both our main airport hubs and critical overseas markets, these data cement and validate Costa Rica’s standing as a world-leading tourism destination post-pandemic,” he remarked.

In the recent past, we have ensured the recovery of pre-pandemic figures, then surpassed them – an achievement accomplished since February of last year – and now we are pleased to find ourselves in a record-breaking stage. With the support of the CCR Group, our majority shareholder, and the effort of the AERIS team, who work with commitment and excellence, we are excited to contribute to the development of tourism throughout the remainder of the high season, which will extend until April. We will continue to be the gateway to the PURA VIDA experiences of Costa Rica,” stated Ricardo Hernández, CEO of AERIS. (https://ticotimes.net/2024/01/18/costa-rica-sets-new-tourism-records-in-2023)

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