Within the framework of the event specialized in MICE tourism, IMEX Frankfurt 2023, Travel2latam had the opportunity to talk with Rafael Quesada, Head of Advertising and Research at the Costa Rican Tourism Institute.
What is the state of tourism in Costa Rica from the point of view of MICE and leisure?
The state of tourism in Costa Rica is phenomenal, we are already recovering definitively, since last year we have all the airlines recovered and flying in Costa Rica again and as of this date the tourism numbers in general terms are similar to those of the country in 2019. So we are basically recovered and expecting to grow even more. Also one of the goals of the Ministry of Tourism is to close a great year in its entirety, with the numbers exactly the same as those of 2019.
With respect to meeting tourism, there is also this recovery. Currently there is a huge demand in the country in terms of incentives, and there are many congresses and meetings taking place in the country, so we really have a lot of activity.
What is the origin of these meetings?
The origin is combined, many are internal and others are international, but those of incentives are at international levels.
What is the largest source of tourists?
Our main market is always the United States, then Canada, and in Europe we have the United Kingdom, Spain, Germany, France and also some of the Nordic countries, but definitely the strongest market in the United States. We are also entering the Mexican market, which is behaving in a very interesting way, for which we are making some efforts and actions in marketing, and we are possibly going to launch an advertising campaign in these months to enter that market with great force.
As for destinations within Costa Rica, do ICT promote any program to be able to integrate other regions or cities?
From ICT we always support each of the country's regions as an institution in all the advertising we do. It is a necessary clause that all regions are there because they all have their attractions and tourists are interested in visiting different locations. We definitely bet that tourists visit the whole country, not only and specifically only one. We call this diversifying the product, so that they then get to know or take away a broader image of the country and enjoy more of its attractions.
Are there new projects in terms of infrastructure?
Yes, there are new constructions mainly in the north of the country, several important hotel complexes are expected, and we always have a section called "investment attraction", where we work very hard to precisely receive investment from hotels, operators, etc. to the country.
Regarding connectivity, they have practically established almost the same numbers as in the famous 2019… Are you working for new airlines to arrive in Costa Rica?
Yes, we follow a very strong cooperative campaign strategy that not only involves airlines, but also wholesale operators. What this area of investment attraction seeks is to maintain that contact with airlines, where there is a person in charge who goes to the markets and works to increase the frequency or size of the planes, and obviously new possibilities for lines and companies are also always sought. that they arrive in the country.