n this context, Travel2latam spoke with Rafael Quesada, Head of Advertising and Research at the Costa Rican Tourism Institute.
How have you experienced this event and what is your perception of your participation?
I believe that this second experience that we have had with our country has been much better. There were 50 luxury companies that came from the United States, Canada, Mexico and Latin America. So that guarantees successful businesses and there was not a free moment where all the businessmen did not have that opportunity to do business, in fact more than one of the Costa Rican businessmen told me that they are super happy and they even closed a business and made very good contacts to be able to do business in the future.
Who accompanied them?
The national businessmen are like 15 companies that are innumerable, but they were businessmen who managed everything that is the strong luxury part of the country, so it was very well focused on that segment of those who came here, and I think that they also An issue that has been guaranteeing that they are very professional businessmen has been the activities. A Costa Rican breakfast was held by a Costa Rican company that set it up and everything went perfectly. In fact, business owners or buyers told us that in few places and activities they have felt that “wow” effect and at that breakfast because of how they served the food and made the arrangements, etc. And last night we also had a cocktail with another national businessman that greatly highlighted that part of Costa Rican culture in terms of masks, witches, etc.
How is the year going for you and how is the meeting tourism segment going for you?
In reality, everything that is Costa Rica, leisure segment and meeting tourism, are in very clear growth with very promising numbers, we are going up even going to IBTM Barcelona, and there are many businessmen interested in going, that shows that the country is once again recovering what we brought and I tell you, we basically already have the numbers for 2019, which were the pre-pandemic numbers and were already high, and we are reaching them.
Costa Rica does not stop announcing routes or returns of routes that were already in this country...
In the same way, at this point we have already recovered 100% of the routes, true, but what we want is later to increase frequency, possibly open new spaces for more tourists to come to the country.
Moving forward to planning 2024, according to your vision, what would be the objectives that you would have to set?
The objectives that we have to set are the innovation part, to form alliances with strategic partners at the international level of meeting tourism to be able to see how we consolidate the industry and we are betting right now on seeking the Mexican market and other markets that we are still defining at a strategic level. , but looking for diversification and new markets.
What would be your final message for our audience who wants to know a little more about Costa Rica?
I believe that one of the things that characterize us most and positions us best is people, nature, sustainability. The phrase Pura vida encloses us a lot of what we are true. That Pura vida is not only a slogan by which we want to attract a tourist, but we see each tourist as another Costa Rican, as another human being, and in the end they become our friends and are part of us. So, that Pura vida is that human part, and it is the life that is also around, it is sustainability; which is our transversal axis between all the strategies we do. For us it is essential to preserve life, to keep nature alive in our country and for tourists to take away that experience, which as we always say can only be experienced in Costa Rica.