Costa Rica began one of the most anticipated seasons for coastal areas: the arrival of cruise ships in the country.
This is fantastic news for the country, especially the port provinces, as this tourism creates income and jobs for the local communities.
The Costa Rican Tourism Institute (ICT) authorities want to boost the arrival of large ships while promoting the country as an ideal destination for luxury cruise ships and expeditions.
“Costa Rica’s goal is to increase the appeal of expedition and luxury cruise ships coming to Costa Rica. These are ships with a smaller number of people, between 200 and 300 people, staying in the country for more days and spending more,” said Gustavo Alvarado, Director of Tourism Management and Consultancy of the ICT.
Vaccination cards and strict hygiene measures due to Covid-19 were left behind. With the relaxation of hygiene measures, it is expected that more people will choose to cruise and visitor numbers will increase.
One of the biggest challenges the country is currently facing is the deterioration of the road infrastructure, as the national roads in the Caribbean and the Pacific are currently being affected. This would hamper the transportation of tourists and their ability to travel within the country.
“We cannot ignore that there are several important challenges; We have a delicate situation in terms of road infrastructure, both for the construction of the road in Limón and for what is happening on Route 1 and Route 27. However, all tourism companies are well prepared to offer tours near the areas the ships arrive,” said the Director of Tourism Management and Consultancy at the ICT.
During the past cruise season, 150 ships arrived in the country: 78 docked in Puntarenas, Golfito and Quepos, and the remaining 72 in the port of Limón.
“Cruise ships are an important niche, especially for the coastal areas and some surrounding areas. Passengers disembark and make excursions to nearby regions or buy local products,” Alvarado added.
The cruise industry generated over $29.2 million in economic impact in 2019 and created more than 10,000 jobs in the country’s coastal communities.