Flights originating in Canada, Germany, Switzerland and more were added this winter due to an increase in tourism in Costa Rica. Seven airlines that fly non-stop to Juan Santamaría International Airport (SJO) from Europe and two from Canada have been pleased with demand and hope to increase their offerings to Costa Rica, according to the Costa Rican Tourism Board (ICT).

“Attracting airlines and a greater number of seats from our main tourist-sending markets is a significant achievement that benefits the country’s tourism market. It is a significant achievement that is the result of our ongoing efforts in this strategic area”, said the Costa Rican Minister of Tourism, Maria Amalia Revelo.

Increases in Flights

Over the past few years, airlines have seen an increase in demand for flights to Costa Rica. Hermes Navarro, Director of Investment Attraction for ICT, recently made a deal with a Canadian airline at FITUR, an international tourism fair in Spain. And following ICT’s participation in the ITB Berlin, a worldwide travel-industry convention, Minister Revelo met with representatives from Lufthansa (Germany), KLM (the Netherlands), Air France, Edelweiss (Switzerland) and Condor (Germany).

“In 2006, Costa Rica had a single indirect flight to Europe, and today, there are eight airlines offering flights between the old continent and Costa Rica,” said the Minister of Tourism, María Amalia Revelo. “This is evidence of the great leap that our country has taken as a result of its strategy to attract airlines.”

Continued Growth

The ICT is will be carrying out further promotional campaigns in airline communication media and mass media with the aim of promoting travel to Costa Rica. The current promotional focus is on the cities of Toronto and Montreal. Some 217,000 tourists arrive in Canada each year from all sources in 2018, which represented an increase of 7.5% over the previous year.

In January of 2019 alone, Costa Rica experienced an increase of 9.2 percent compared to the same month in 2018. According to ICT exit surveys, visitors choose Costa Rica for sun and beach activities (84%), hiking (50%), observing flora and fauna (61%), visiting volcanoes (46%) and enjoying hot springs (37%), among other activities.

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