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Costa Rica Tourism Under Performs for 2011; Hopes for a Better 2012

Article Summary:

The Costa Rica Institute of Tourism presented its 2011 tourism season report this week; among the main data is a slight increase of foreign visitors at 4%, but are well inside the institutes expectations. The 2011 season saw an increase air traffic, a growth in sustainable tourism as well as a reduction on crime involving tourists. Institute Goals for 2012 include to increase in sustainable tourism, completion of the national Convention Center and draw more airline carriers to the country.

Photo Credit: Revista Summa

Original Article Text From Revista Summa via Google Translate :

Income from Foreign Tourists to Costa Rica Increased by 4% in 2011

After completing a period of work, the Instituto Costarricense de Turismo officially presented the achievements in 2011 and the goals and projects for next year. Among the main data stands the increase of foreign tourists in the country, a figure that increased by 4%.

The presentation was made to more than 300 tourism industry. The Tourism Minister Allan Flores, said this year was a period of great challenges and important revenues for the tourism industry, among which highlights the attraction of new airlines, the outstanding participation in international fairs in priority markets for the country in Europe and South America, supporting the communities through tourism Expoferia and incorporation of 240 companies with the Certification for Sustainable Tourism, among others.

The main achievements of the institution is presented in three major areas:

Marketing and Promotion:
Airlines: For this area were released three new routes: Jet Blue: New York – Liberia. 4 flights per week = 31,200 additional seats per year. Began operations on November 17, Air Berlin: Berlin – Liberia and Frontier: Denver – Liberia. 3596 seats. Began operations on January 30.

Cooperative Campaign
With the co-op campaign program has been the promotion of new routes from the U.S. (Apple Vacations, Jet Blue and Delta), Canada (Sunwing Vacations), Argentina (TACA), UK (First Choice) and Germany ( Air Berlin), train travel agents from countries like Canada, USA, Germany, Spain, Brazil, UK and Switzerland, co-sponsor the participation in fairs and events from Canada, Brazil, USA, Italy and Switzerland, achieving increased exposure Costa Rica International, link to online agencies in the world (Travelocity, Orbitz and Expedia) with institutional marketing programs, increasing exponentially the presence of fate in major source markets, negotiating airline tickets to the attention of press and agents from South America (TACA and COPA) and the United States (Jet Blue).

Advertising campaign US-Canada International
The campaign “Costa Rica’s Million Dollar Gift of Happiness” was released on October 6. 40 people have won the “Gift of Happiness” through page on Facebook Visit Costa Rica (to date reported 40 winners). Fans on Facebook went from 8,000 to nearly 80,000 and the number continues to increase. To date, recorded 1328 followers on Twitter.

Participation in International Fairs
During this period, we participated in 27 international fairs. 254 companies attended, representing an increase in participation of 26.8% over the period 2009-2010, mainly at fairs in the United States.

For the period 2011-2012 have registered 82 companies, of which 58% have the Certification for Sustainable Tourism. In addition. approximately 65% of cooperative campaigns that are currently running analysis or were negotiated in international fairs (2010-2011).

2012 Planning and Development:
Key figures: From January to December 2011 (the last month estimated) is calculated by the arrival of 2. 183. 815 tourists entering all ports, representing an increase of 4% over the previous year, which is within the estimate in the National Sustainable Tourism Plan for the period 2010-2016 and within that projected by World Tourism Organization.

Development Planning Proposals:
In July, presented an update of the National Sustainable Tourism Plan 2010 – 2016, the roadmap that both public and private sector have been developed to ensure that Costa Rica remains the leading international tourist destination and offers an authentic product, unique experiences, for the thousands of tourists visiting the country. It has 75% progress in the design of the General Plan Land Use Maritime Terrestrial Zone is expected to close next year.

Tourism Management:
Tourist safety: During this period there was managed a nearly 8% decrease in the incidence of crime against tourists. There are currently 308 Tourist Police officers distributed in major tourist areas such as La Fortuna, Guanacaste, Limón, Puntarenas, among others.

As for road signs and tourist coverage was achieved around 75% of the 4,000 planned signs be installed during the period 2006-2011. With respect to the signaling risk coastal areas by the presence of drift current, 50 signs were installed in the most dangerous beaches such as Playa Cangrejal, Scripts and Playa Ostional Beach, among others.

Sustainable Tourism
The country currently has 240 companies certified to the CST (178 hotels, 58 tour operators and car rental companies 4). This represents about 26% of the total tourist declared these three sectors.

Tourism Investment
Declared tourism investment through the month of August 2011, is 267.864.195.130.30, of which 90.77% are hosting companies and in relation to the provinces, the highest percentage (64.53%) is located in Guanacaste. For the year 2010, represents the total investment increased by 16.04%.

Projects and Opportunities:
The National Sustainable Tourism Plan 2010-2016 set out the priority targets for the tourism industry as the annual 5% increase in the number of international tourists to the number of tourists who entered in 2010, increase to at least 500 companies certified under the standard tourist program Certification for Sustainable Tourism (CST) by 2016 and increase by 10% the percentage of tourist hotel rooms with a declaration issued by the ICT for 2016, so that they reach roughly 60 % of domestic supply.

According to Flores, continue to attract airlines to the country from Europe, North and South America, ensuring the competitiveness of tourist destination and its sustainability over time. Furthermore, both public and private sectors should continue to support the domestic market and small and medium enterprises with the actions that have been implemented as the promotion of national events, fairs, tours, press tours and the promotion of new niche market as the rural community tourism, medical tourism and cultural tourism.

One of the main actions to be executed is the construction of the National Convention Centre and Exhibition, which will give the country the impetus required to catapult the national tourism growth and compete in the niche of conferences, conventions and trade fair in the world. It expects to open in late 2013.

“We are faced with a world stage fraught with challenges that push us to take the challenge and continue to innovate, because the tourism products and services that characterize our destiny and resilience, the creativity of entrepreneurs and sustainable development of tourism is what has allowed Costa Rica to compete in international markets and consolidate its position, but this should motivate us to work hard and remain vigilant, “said Flores.

Link to Original Article:

From Revista Summa

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