Written by Lionel Ibarra – Strategyandbusiness.net
Tourist activity in Costa Rica continues to recover, after stopping due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
Although international visitor numbers to the Central American country are still below 2019 records, other indicators are emerging. sustainable recovery.
Robin Acon, President of the National Chamber of Tourism (Canator) noted that 2019 “It was the best year“In which they generated more than $3 billion in FX profits and in 2021 they ended up with about half.
However, some of the positive factors that drive income from tourism activity are that as of July this year, 1.4 million tourists have been received (27% less compared to 2021) and Length of stay in the country increased to 13.6 nightsup one from 2019 and the average expense is $1,565 per person, and an additional $100.
“If we were to expect 2 million tourists for this year with an average spend of $1,565, we would have more than $3000 million this year. In other words, we would end the year with fewer tourists, but approx. at the same income level‘ Eckon points out.
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Added to this is the local tourism activity, which is also witnessing an awakening. Indeed, according to data from the Monthly Index of Economic Activity (IMAE) of the Central Bank of Costa Rica, The fastest growing activities Year-to-year through June were accommodation and food services (30.8%).
At the same time, the granting of productive loans to the tourism sector is increasing. In June 2022, the credit balance of the National Banking System (SBN) to the tourism sector was 618,245 million colones, 47% more than in June 2019.
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“For the national banking system, it is gratifying to see the recovery that the tourism sector has seen It has a huge impact on the country’s economy. In addition, this demonstrates that the support that banks provide to people and businesses affected by the pandemic has been of great importance and has allowed them to move forward with their business,” said Maria Isabel Cortes, Executive Director of Banking at the Costa Rican Association (ABC).
Last year’s estimates from the Central Bank of Costa Rica stated that tourism in the country would return to 2019 levels in 2024; However, Chief Canator points out that This scene has changed After the World Tourism Organization survey last May we now expect a full recovery a year ahead.
For his part, William Rodriguez, Minister of Tourism, agrees with these expectations and says they will primarily drive the arrival of visitors from the United States, Canada and Europe, but Still a big challenge Tourism is recovering from the rest of the Central American region by land.