Costa Rica ‘totally ready’ for Asian influx


Costa Rica Tourism Minister Allan Flores Moya co-launched MITM Americas in Panama

  Costa Rica welcomed 2.2 million tourists in 2011, nearly half of its population (Image: Visit Costa Rica)

A longtime favourite of American travellers, Costa Rica is now eyeing the Asia-Pacific region, in particular China, as a future source of tourism.

For a nation of just 4.3 million people, Costa Rica punches well above its weight in tourism terms; last year, the Central American nation welcomed around 2.2 million international tourists, including nearly one million tourists from the United States alone. But despite more than half of its tourists originating from North America (including around 200,000 from Canada), Costa Rica Tourism Minister, Allan Flores Moya said that there was now a great opportunity for Costa Rica to attract more travellers from Asia.

“We think we have enough possibilities in order to enhance more tourism coming from Asia-Pacific, not only Australia, but especially from China, which is a very important market for us,” Mr Moya told e-Travel Blackboard in an interview at MITM Americas.

Hoping to lure five to ten percent of the 2.5 million Chinese visitors who currently travel to the US each year with “vacation packages of 4 to 5 days”, Mr Moya said Costa Rica was already in talks with Chinese authorities to improve connectivity between the two countries.

As well as signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the Civil Aviation Authority of China, Mr Moya said Costa Rica would be bringing “a very important group of enterprises of tourism” to China to establish relationships with tour operators to encourage travel to the country.

Asked whether the country’s infrastructure was well prepared for an influx of tourists from Asia-Pacific, Mr Moya said Costa Rica was “totally ready”.

“We have more than 46,000 rooms”, he explained.

“We have important North American chains like Marriott, Hilton, Hyatt and Four Seasons. And we have also some local, very-well recognized internationally eco-tourism lodges Punta Islita Hotel.”
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: M.H
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