Tourism in Costa Rica
Tourism is one of Costa Rica's most important businesses, and they are blessed to contain all the key ingredients of the perfect tourist destination. Eco-tourism is Costa Rica's #1 business and with good reason since Costa Rica is home to several pristine beaches, volcanoes, hot springs, caves, rainforests, mountains, waterfalls and more. Costa Rica's impressive biodiversity is what makes it a key destination.
Eco-tourism is over a billion dollar a year business and has complimented Costa Rica's economy, growing at a steady and increasingly high rate per year over the last 10 years.
Tourism continues to bring in foreign exchange, and tourist businesses thrive as over one million tourists enter per year, which is about 25% of the combined total number of visitors to the seven countries of Central America. Each year the number of visitors to Costa Rica has increased. Most tourists arrive by air, are North American or European, and come between December and April when it is summer in Costa Rica. Tourists and businesses from Russia, China and other Asian countries are also arriving in respectable numbers. According to official statistics from the ICT, the tourism industry offers direct and indirect employment to about 150,000 people in a nation with a population of around 4 million.
Costa Rica is a destination in high demand. In addition to Costa Rica's natural beauty, mild year-round temperatures, relatively low crime rates, and low cost of living, its strategic location with many convenient direct flights to several international destinations has made Costa Rica an irresistible haven for adventure seekers, vacationers, and retirees.
- CNN "Costa Rica is a magnet for international tourists and the Central American state's astonishing geographical and home to over 5% of the world's biological diversity---packed into an area just slightly bigger than Switzerland.
- Travel Channel "A model National Conservation System protects Costa Rica's invaluable natural heritage, including 9,000 different kinds of flowering plants and more species of birds than in the United States, Canada and Mexico combined."
- Frommer's : Costa Rica is consistently one of the hottest vacation and adventure-travel destinations in Latin America, with more than a million visitors each year. Despite the boom in vacationers, Costa Rica remains a place rich in natural wonders and biodiversity, where you can still feel far from the maddening crowds.