Guanacaste Airport an exponential increase in travelers
In May, the terminal received 44% more visitors compared to the same period in 2019
Guanacaste Airport continues to grow and adding good news, to learn about the current situation, we interviewed its General Manager Cesar Jaramillo. We share the answers below:
How has aerial visitation behaved in these first months of the year?
We have good news regarding the total passenger traffic that travels to Guanacaste Airport: in the month of May we achieved a total of 112,856 passengers, which represents 44% more than the same figure for May 2019, that is, before the pandemic. We see a trend since June of last year of traffic recovery. This year it accumulates more from January to May, than in the same period in 2019.
We believe that this is the product of the coordinated work of the Government sector and the Coriport company and the Vinci Group, of which we are a part, to provide more seats to the destination. Since November, when we inaugurated seven new routes, we have recovered not only the airlines that we already had, but also one more. We have 15 in total, most of which serve the United States and Canada, and three serve Europe. Those seats fill up because the capacity factor goes up and thus a new phenomenon has been seen which is the extension of the dry season, also known as high season, beyond March.
The effects that this has on the general well-being of the population in this part of Costa Rica is very important because the dependence on tourism is also great, so this airport and the entire community that serves it, we believe we are doing a good job of our fellow citizens, our countrymen.
That's the news, we continue to see that good performance in this month of June. We'll see how it goes in the rainy season where traffic is normally reduced, but we hope that the full year will be equal to or higher than what we had in 2019.
What are the factors that influence this extended high season?
There are supply and demand factors: In the first place, from the point of view of demand, the Costa Rica destination is preferred as a form of safe haven, a place to come to rest from the hustle and bustle that is perhaps greater in the economies developed. There is war, there is inflation, there are employability problems; So, a nearby destination like Guanacaste influences those markets of origin, that's an element.
On the other hand, the offer: Guanacaste and Costa Rica knew how to maintain the fiber of their hotel capacity, their transportation capacity, their attractions, so that we (Guanacaste Airport) can serve the passenger/guest/user, in an adequate manner, high level. It really is a destination of great value. In other markets, it can be called as “an aspirational destination”.
With a view to the second part of the year: How much does Guanacaste Airport aspire to close the visitation rates?
The same or a little above 2019, at that time we registered 1.2 million passengers. We aspire to get there because we are already 2% above the same months in 2019. Despite some dark clouds in the future, if we get to a figure well above that, it will have to do more with the start of the next season. high which is in November.
Regarding the dollar invested in Guanacaste Airport: How much does it translate into investment for the province and the country in general?
It is an extraordinarily high number: for every dollar invested in the airport, $13 of increase in the gross value of production is generated around us, which means that the capacity to generate positive externalities is much greater than similar investments in other sectors.
Much has to do with the average stay of the tourist, which reaches two weeks, with the ability to move throughout the national territory, where he distributes that benefit in small restaurants, in volcanoes, in attractions of a different nature; also with a very positive attitude towards the people on the part of the tourist and the national regarding the tourist. The 'Tico' is friendly, helpful and this is perceived very well by our visitors.
How is it that other airports in the world -with more visitors- still do not reach these levels of visitation and Guanacaste Airport does?
We have a new normal. The pandemic hit us very hard, because we were open, but without passengers. Since then, we have taken on the task of rebuilding our relationships with the airlines, managing very close communication with the hotels, which in turn also promote their facilities. We found ourselves in the risky situation that we are a destination close to the United States and Canada. Narrow-body aircraft that normally serve the local market can arrive in Costa Rica without the need for double crews or stopovers that are necessary in other destinations. We have intelligently taken advantage of the international logistics situation and the excellent condition that the country is safe.