As many as 1.73 million foreign tourists visited Costa Rica in the first half of this year, a 4% increase compared to the number of tourist arrivals during the same period last year.
Americans, Canadians, and Mexicans made up a bulk of these tourists, stated the country’s Tourism Board, adding that 959,000 people came from the United States, 149,498 from Canada and 48,770 from Mexico.
During the month of June alone, around 249,000 people visited the country.
Thanks to its vast rainforests and abundant animal species, Costa Rica has long been a destination of choice for Americans. But these days there has been an uptick in the number of tourists from Europe as well.
“The increase in arrivals from Europe is particularly gratifying, since it shows that Costa Rica is growing as an important destination in that market,” reported The Costa Rica Star, quoting the Tourism Minister, Maria Amalia Revelo, as saying.
According to local media reports, there was a 13% jump in the number of tourists coming from Germany.
Of the 1.7 million foreign tourists, 1.3 million came by air. It seems the increase in foreign tourists is pushing the country to refurbish its airports. The Costa Rican government has recently set aside around US$157 million for modernizing its international airports.
Tourism brings more foreign currency for the Central American country than bananas, pineapples and coffee exports combined. The sector accounts for around 12% the country’s GDP and around 11% of employment.