The Appeal of La Pura Vida
As Costa Rica’s tourism numbers continue to climb, developers are eyeing this Central American nation
According to global business group OPP.Today, Costa Rica is already one of the most visited countries in Central America, and the Costa Rica Tourism Board reported in January 2016 that the country received more than 2.6 million international visitors over the course of 2015. This is an increase of 5.5 percent and a growth at three times the rate of the country’s economy, and things show no signs of slowing down.
Travelers and developers alike are drawn to Costa Rica’s accessibility, balmy weather and, above all, the range of stunning landscapes, from rain forest to beach. Juan Bisso, commercial director of Hotel del Sur, in the San José province, cites “the trend toward eco-tourism” as one of the primary reasons for the upswing in travelers. Twenty-six percent of the country’s land mass is under national protection, so visitors can explore 28 national parks and eight biological reserves.
“Costa Rica’s incredible biodiversity and variable climate offer a multitude of travel destinations to explore and enjoy,” Gustavo Bado, fractional manager partner of Jaco Bay Premium Condominiums, in the province of Puntarenas, notes. “One of the reasons Costa Rica is such an exciting country to visit is that it affords travelers the opportunity to see multiple locations and habitats on a single vacation.”
There are many diverse and popular regions throughout Costa Rica. Most recently, developers have begun focusing their efforts on the lush Guanacaste province, on the Pacific coast. Under the high-end Wyndham Hotels and Resorts® brand, Wyndham Hotel Group signed a franchise agreement for their first resort in Costa Rica, Wyndham Papagayo Yu Resort, in 2014. AMResorts opened Dreams Las Mareas in 2015, and Rosewood Papagayo is set to launch in 2019.
Another reason tourism is booming is an increase in access, which benefits developers as well. In 2015 four airlines began offering new flights to Costa Rica from North American cities such as Baltimore, Houston, Denver and Calgary. As a result, the Costa Rica Tourism Board found that the number of visitors who came to Costa Rica by plane rose 8 percent in 2015 to more than 1.8 million. Airlines continue to add more direct flights. And this month British Airways launched a new nonstop flight from London to San José, the capital of Costa Rica.
Photo credit: Costa Rica PR