Costa Rica sees increase in visitor numbers

The Costa Rica Tourism Board and the Directorate General of Immigration (DGME) report that Costa Rica welcomed 2,195,960 visitors in 2011, a 4.6% increase compared to tourist arrivals from 2010. This represents an increase of 91,131 travellers year over year. Nearly 70% of arrivals into Costa Rica were by air, with 1,196,257 visitors arriving through Juan Santamaria International Airport in San Jose and 264,165 arriving via Daniel Oduber Quiros International Airport in Liberia. The main tourist markets for Costa Rica also showed positive growth in 2011, with the European travel market growing by 4.8%, the North American market by 3.9% and the South American market by 8.2%, when compared to figures from 2010. Costa Rica Minister of Tourism Allan Flores is pleased with the results and says tourism officials must continue to innovate and promote the development of new market niches, such as rural tourism, cultural tourism, medical tourism and congress and convention tourism, with the latter being strengthened by the construction of Costa Rica’s National Convention and Exhibition Center. (