Costa Rica’s Marketing Push Helps Drive Tourism

Tourism boards don’t always get it right when it comes to marketing campaigns. But sometimes, they create a resounding success. That’s the position the Costa Rica Tourism Board finds itself in, as its tongue-in-cheek “Save the Americans” campaign winds down.

The year-long campaign featured singing wildlife lamenting the plight of overworked, stressed out, Americans.

By all accounts, it struck a chord. Visitors from the U.S. reached the one million mark for the first time in 2015. And the country broke tourism records, welcoming 2.66 international visitors last year.

That’s more than half of Costa Rica’s population.

Provided the Zika virus is kept in check (the country reported it’s first case this week), Costa Rica will remain a hot commodity, according to Airfarewatchdog president George Hobica.

Four airlines launched new service to the country in 2015 from destinations, including Baltimore, Houston and Denver. Southwest Airlines has announced service from LAX to Daniel Oduber Quiros International Airport (LIR) in Liberia/Guanacaste starting in April.

“We’re seeing a definite trend which is pretty interesting. Events such as the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service has people looking close to home. If they travel internationally, they’re focusing on this hemisphere. That bodes well for Central and South America,” Hobica tells Travel Agent.

Stacey Robertson Ray, owner/CEO and travel specialist with Groupit Travel, says interest in Costa Rica has spiked lately. She recently returned from the country.

"The appeal is most definitely there for clients who love adventure travel. Some beautiful all-inclusives are located in the Guanacaste Region for those who really want to relax. If you are really looking to experience the allure of Costa Rica, the wildlife, the nature, the adventure, I recommend staying in more than one area and allowing for at least eight days,” said Ray.

Tabacon Thermal Resort & Spa
Tabacón Thermal Resort & Spa

Visitors will find that a number of high-profile resorts have completed enhancements and renovations. Among them: Tabacón Thermal Resort & Spa in the Arenal Volcano area.

The property is located near the base of the volcano outside the small town of La Fortuna. It’s close to Lake Arenal, a popular destination for canoeing, fishing and kite surfing.

Spread across 900 acres of a protected reserve, Tabacón offers a network of natural thermal mineral springs.

Orchid Rooms

“The resort now features 103 eco-friendly rooms, including 24 newly-renovated Orchid Rooms featuring beautiful sky lit, stone floor showers, lounging areas with garden views and local art handmade by Costa Rican artists,” spokesperson Sydney Feldman tells Travel Agent.

“Between the springs, al fresco spa treatments performed in rainforest bungalows, and nearby activities like zip-lining, hiking and whitewater rafting, it’s a great destination for romantic getaways, honeymoons, wellness and adventure travel,” Feldman adds.

The resort can arrange excursions that include an array of rainforest nature encounters, chocolate tours, treks across aerial hanging bridges, coffee tours and the Rio Frío Pure Nature Safari Float.

Nayara Springs
Nayara Springs 

Another property located in the Arenal area, Nayara Springs, is progressing with its expansion plans.

The resort will add 19 new villas, a new yoga pavilion, a new pool and swim-up bar, a new reception area with an espresso bar and a new gym. Local guides will lead bird watching walks on a new rainforest trail.

The first 13 villas of the expansion project are now open and ready for booking, according to a resort spokesperson. The remaining public spaces will be finished in May, and the final six villas are set for June completion.