COSTA RICA TOURISM STAYS STRONG Tourism Arrivals Increase Despite Global Uncertainties

Released on: July 10, 2008, 3:01 pm

Press Release Author: Costa Rica Tourist Board

Industry: Government

Press Release Summary: Costa Rica tourist arrivals by air grew 15.6%. The
international tourism industry grew five percent in the first four months of 2008
according to latest edition of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)
World Tourism Barometer. Costa Rica among the fastest growth in region.

Press Release Body: SAN JOSE, Costa Rica, July 9, 2008 - According to the latest
edition of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) World Tourism
Barometer, in spite of uncertainties posed by the global economy, the international
tourism industry grew five percent in the first four months of 2008, compared to the
same period of 2007. Nevertheless, Costa Rica reported double-digit growth rates in
international tourist arrivals according to the June 2008 edition of the report.
The Costa Rica Tourist Board has stated that during the first five months of 2008,
the country experienced a growth in tourism arrivals by air of 15.6%. Furthermore,
Costa Rica has not experienced a reduction in international flight carriers, a
situation that has occurred in other countries in the region.
"We are pleased that Costa Rica is included in the most dynamic regions that
reported a growth in the number of international tourist arrivals," said Carlos
Ricardo Benavides, Minister of Tourism of Costa Rica. "This encourages us to
continue strengthening our promotional efforts in our main markets to lessen the
repercussions of this global economic imbalance due to high oil prices," added

The UNWTO announced that all sub-regions posted positive results in the first months
of 2008, with a modest growth in Europe. The fastest growth was in Central and
South America and in the Middle East. Among the destinations that reported
doubled-digit growth rates are Chile, China, Costa Rica, Japan and Peru, among

Benavides attributes this increase in figures to a couple of factors-first, not only
does the U.S. dollar still goes a long way in Costa Rica, but it provides travelers
great value for their traveling dollar; secondly, Costa Rica's proximity to major
hubs in the United States and the multitude of flight options makes it easy for
travelers to vacation in Costa Rica; and thirdly, the heightened awareness of the
environment and increase in travel to natural areas has positioned Costa Rica as a
top destination for ecotourism and sustainable travel.

Costa Rica boasts thousands of kilometers of pristine beaches, lush rainforests and
some of the world's most biologically intense and diverse places. Although the tiny
country accounts for just 0.01% of the earth's surface, its rich land is home to an
astounding 3% of the world's biodiversity, and its waters contains 3.5% of the
world's marine life.

The UNWTO foresees a positive tourism growth for the rest of the year and has
pointed that despite the low consumer confidence indices, international tourism has
proved its resistances to similar circumstances in the past and able to cope with
the future challenges.


About Costa Rica
Costa Rica is located in Central America, nestled between Nicaragua and Panama, and
bordered on the east by the Caribbean Sea and the west by the Pacific Ocean. This
small country represents only .01 % of the planet's surface and it shelters almost
4% of the existing world's biodiversity. It has given priority to the conservation
of its natural resources, protecting 25% of its national territory through the
creation of National Parks and other natural areas.

The country also offers world-class eco-tourism and adventure travel. The options
are unlimited for any discriminating traveler: horseback riding on a secluded beach;
hiking through the lush whispering greenery of a rainforest; having an exhilarating
experience on a white-water rafting trip, observing the tropical forests from a
canopy tour; surfing the blue waves of either coast; experiencing a quite, close
encounter with different species of birds and wildlife; and enjoying the diverse
culture and hospitality of the Ticos.

About the Costa Rica Tourist Board
The Costa Rica Tourist Board, created in 1955, is an autonomous institution of the
State, responsible for regulating the tourism activity in Costa Rica and promoting
Costa Rica's tourism attractions and destinations both at a national and
international level. The Costa Rica Tourist Board creates tourism norms,
regulations, incentives and grants the tourist declaratory for Costa Rica's hotels,
travel agencies, rental cars and other tourism organization and service provider.

For general travel or tourism information about Costa Rica, contact the Costa Rica
Tourist Board directly at 1-866-267-8274 or visit their web site at

FOR PRESS ONLY: For press inquiries, please contact 1-888-600-6806 or e-mail

Web Site: http://

Contact Details: Evelyn Obando
601 Brickell Key Drive, Suite 900
Miami, FL 33131-2620
Direct: (305)347-4336
Fax: (305)347-4301

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