The Costa Rica Tourism Board (ICT) has announced that Costa Rica received more than 685,000 international tourists in the first quarter of 2011.
The data released by the Immigration Department of Costa Rica and analyzed by the ICT reports an increase of more than 49,000 foreign visitors in the first three months of 2011, which represents a 7.8 percent increase over the same period in 2010.
“This has been a great way to kick off the year,” said Minister of Tourism Allan Flores in a written statement. “We surpassed the world average, which according to the World Tourism Organization, was five percent in the first few months of 2011.”
The Daniel Oduber International Airport in Liberia, the regional hub of the Costa Rican northwest, registered a record 26.9 percent increase in visitor arrivals within the first three months of 2011.
Data from the Directorate General of Immigration (DGME) confirms that in January there were 42 flights a week, six more than in 2010, representing a growth of 14 percent. February indicated similar results with 53 flights a week, 13 more than the same period last year, meaning an increase of 25 percent.
The United States remains Costa Rica largest and most important market, representing 54.2 percent of arrivals by air with more than 252,000 Americans traveling there during the first quarter of the year. Costa Rica’s proximity to major hubs in the United States and the multitude of flight options makes it easy for travelers to vacation there. San Jose is less than three hours away from Miami, a five-hour flight from New York, a four-hour flight from Dallas and a six-hour flight from Los Angeles.