Costa Rica experienced a significant recovery in its tourism sector during the first semester of 2023.
According to the Costa Rican Tourism Institute (ICT), the country welcomed 1,338,303 tourists by air, marking a 19.4%
increase compared to the same period in 2022. This figure nearly matches the pre-pandemic numbers, indicating a solid rebound.
The Minister of Tourism, William Rodriguez, expressed confidence in the country’s recovery, stating that Costa Rica is on track to surpass its foreign exchange income from previous years.
By the end of 2023, it is estimated that the country will generate approximately $4 billion in revenue, exceeding the figures from 2019.
In terms of tourist arrivals by air, North America played a significant role, with 977,783 visitors arriving from this region between January and June 2023.
This represents a 21% increase compared to 2022.
The United States accounted for the largest market share, contributing 792,944 visitors, followed by Canada with 148,973 tourists, and Mexico with 35,866 visitors.
Additionally, European arrivals witnessed a 9.3% growth compared to the same period in 2022, reaching a total of 225,617 tourists.
Tourists visiting Costa Rica expressed a range of preferences, with 30% enjoying natural experiences, 29% engaging in adventurous activities, and 18% seeking sun and beach experiences.
Other popular activities include cultural exploration, gastronomy, wellness tourism, shopping, and nightlife.
The positive trend in tourism is also reflected in employment figures, with the sector generating 158,810 direct jobs during the first quarter of 2023, as reported by the National Institute of Statistics and Census.
Costa Rica, a country with a population of 5.1 million, welcomed a total of 2.11 million tourists from around the world in 2022.
Before the pandemic, the country typically received over 3 million visitors annually. The current recovery indicates a promising outlook for Costa Rica’s tourism industry.