Costa Rica recovered in 2021 more than 50% of the tourism that entered by air
December was the best month of the year with the entry of 216,678 tourists through all routes
Costa Rica closed 2021 with the entry of 1,347,055 tourists, of which 94% (1,270,483) arrived by air, exceeding the forecast of 1.3 million visitors that had been made in December. This is reflected in data from the General Directorate of Migration and Immigration analyzed by the Costa Rican Institute of Tourism.
From the United States, the main source market for tourists to Costa Rica, 852,182 tourists arrived, recovering 66.4% of the 2019 figures. From Europe, 212,639 tourists arrived, recovering half of the arrivals registered two years ago. Spain with 39,618 tourists, Germany with 31,739 and France with 30,129 were the largest emitters of tourists from the Old Continent.
The arrival of tourists shows an increase in the last three months of 2021, generating positivity for this high season: that quarter added more than 430,000 tourist arrivals, and December was the best month of the year with the arrival of 216,678 tourists for all the tracks. By air, December was also the best month, with the arrival of 201,902 visitors out of a total of 1,270,483 tourists registered throughout the year, which represented 16% of the entire period.
“The figures for 2021 show that we have advanced on a sustained path to reactivate the sector, recovering jobs and the economy in atypical times. This forces us to continue to be strict in the application of sanitary protocols in order to remain a reliable destination, hoping that in 2022 the joint work and management of the pandemic in the country and in our issuing markets will allow us to continue with the recovery of the tourism,” said Gustavo Alvarado, Minister for Tourism.
The increase in flight frequencies, the recovery of all the airlines that flew before the pandemic and the arrival of new airlines (Iberojet and Frontier) resulted in the two international airports showing dynamism during 2021: Juan Santamaría added 882,424 tourists, representing 48.6% of arrivals in 2019; and Guanacaste Airport (Daniel Oduber Quirós), received 288,054 tourists, equivalent to 64.7% of the tourists registered in 2019.
Thus, by air, the most important for the country, 52.5% is accounted for of pre-pandemic arrivals. When considering all routes (air, land and sea), 42.8% of the number of tourists registered in 2019 arrived.