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Costa Rica Tourism Report Q1 2012
Business Monitor International, December 2011, Pages: 34
Business Monitor International's Costa Rica Tourism Report provides industry professionals and strategists, corporate analysts, tourism associations, government departments and regulatory bodies with independent forecasts and competitive intelligence on Costa Rica's tourism industry.
Costa Rica receives the majority of its tourist arrivals from the Americas, with the top three source markets for visitors to the country being the US, Nicaragua and Canada.
Tourism arrivals, after increasing from 1.72mn in 2006 to 2.15mn in 2008, dipped to 1.93mn in 2009. The numbers picked up in 2010 and 2011, and are forecast to reach 2.47mn in 2012 before growing at an average rate of 7% until the end of our forecast period in 2015.
Health tourism brings visitors to the country and it is an area where Costa Rica can continue to develop its infrastructure to tap further into a growing market. Already known as a destination for medical tourists, Costa Rica is competing with newer destinations such as Puerto Rico for the millions of Americans, and people from other countries, who travel abroad for medical care. In 2010, medical tourism generated US$250mn in revenue for Costa Rica’s health services industry, according to the Council for International Promotion of Costa Rica Medicine.
In the same vein as health tourism, Costa Rica is making retirement communities a priority to keep visitor numbers up. The country is targeting North American pensioners and is doing away with the red tape of residence permits, especially for those in good health. Tax exemptions on real estate and vehicles are also being offered. The campaign is being run by the Costa Rica Tourism Board (Instituto Costarricense de Turismo, ICT). The Ministry of Competitiveness has already identified eight locations for retirement communities, focusing on areas with natural beauty, tourist attractions and in proximity to hospitals.
Another tourism draw for Costa Rica is spa and wellbeing vacations. The country has been recognised by TripAdvisor users as one of the best places in Central and South America to enjoy spa getaways. Some areas that wellbeing tourists are visiting are the hot springs near the Arenal Volcano, the beaches of the Nicoya Peninsula (home to yoga retreats) and the back-to-nature settings of the Central Valley region. The planned regeneration of the province of Limón, on the less frequently visited Caribbean coast, has the potential to put upward pressure on inbound tourism numbers. Puerto Limón was once the town of the United Fruit Company (the predecessor of Chiquita Brands International) and the province has two national parks. The parks have the potential to be a large tourism driver and a tour by Wildland Adventures was named one of the 25 Best New Trips for 2010 by National Geographic Adventure magazine. In our view, developing tourism infrastructure in the region is likely to unlock great potential.
In 2010, the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) approved grants of US$1.1mn and US$1.5mn to support two parts of the Mesoamerica Pacific Corridor Project. The corridor runs through seven countries from Mexico to Panama. The Optimisation of Border Crossings Pacific Corridor grant will be used to improve passage over borders and the Adjustment, Maintenance and Operation of the Pacific Corridor grant will improve road infrastructure over 2015-2030. The project aims to develop a quicker route between Mexico and Panama. BMI believes that as well as fostering trade in the region, the development of infrastructure has the potential to increase tourism as travel will be much more feasible.
Costa Rica Tourism Industry SWOT
Industry Forecast Scenario
Table: Arrivals Data, 2008-2015
Table: Tourism Expenditure, 2008-2015
Table: Tourist Arrivals, 2008-2015
Table: Outbound Tourism Data, 2008-2015
Market Overview – Travel
Global Oil Products Price Outlook
Market Overview – Hospitality
Europe On The Edge
Table: Global Assumptions, 2009-2015
Table: Global And Regional Real GDP Growth, 2010-2013 (% chg y-o-y)
Table: Developed Market Exchange Rates, 2010-2013
Table: Emerging Market Exchange Rates, 2010-2013
Table: Developed States Real GDP Growth Forecasts, 2010-2013 (%chg y-o-y)
Table: Emerging Markets Real GDP Growth Forecasts, 2010-2013 (% chg y-o-y)
Table: Real GDP Growth Consensus Forecasts, 2011-2012 (%chg y-o-y)
How We Generate Our Industry Forecasts
- Nature Air
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