The latest figures from the Costa Rica Tourism Board (ICT) show that 49,780 visitors from the UK travelled to Costa Rica between January and September 2023. This figure made the UK Costa Rica’s third largest source market in Europe after Germany (53,469) and France (51,314). In total, Costa Rica welcomed 1,848,208 worldwide visitors between January and September 2023, with projections set between 2.3 to 2.5 million by the end of the year.
Costa Rica will invest $4.5 million across 7 national parks
Costa Rica will invest $4.5 million (around £3.7 million) over the next three years to improve tourism facilities and infrastructure across 7 key national parks. This investment aims to improve visitor experiences and promote sustainable tourism practices. The funding will be used to develop new trails, upgrade visitor centres and implement conservation initiatives. The 7 parks benefiting from the funds will be: Manuel Antonio, Tenorio Volcano, Guayabo National Monument, Carara, Arenal Volcano, Irazu in the Prusia sector, and Los Quetzales National Park. These were selected based on high visitor numbers throughout the year.
Costa Rica extends tourist visas to 180 days
The Costa Rican government has extended the maximum stay period for foreign tourists visiting on a tourist visa, from 90 days to 180 days. The new regulation, which came into effect in September 2023, applies to passport holders from countries that are visa-exempt, including most European nations, the US and Canada. In addition to leisure visitors, the 180-day stay period aims to make Costa Rica more attractive for digital nomads.
New luxury hotels
Costa Rica’s Guanacaste region, famous for its pristine beaches, national parks and dry tropical climate, will see a variety of new luxury hotels opening throughout 2024. These include the luxury One&Only Papagayo (161 rooms); Peninsula Papagayo (109 rooms); Waldorf Astoria Residences Guanacaste (197 rooms); and Hampton by Hilton Guanacaste Airport (100 rooms). The new hotels will provide visitors the opportunity to experience the north-western region of Guanacaste which, as well as famous for its beaches and climate, is well known for its rich cultural heritage and vibrant festivals. Beyond Guanacaste, luxury retreat, Our Habitas Santa Teresa, in Puntarenas province, is opening on 29 December 2023. Its low impact, earth-inspired 45 rooms will nestle on the border of dense forest and the famous Santa Teresa’s beach, known for its world class surf break and abundant marine life.