Destination Spotlight: Costa Rica
The Central American nation is growing its tourism industry by investing in property development.
Costa Rica is setting a high bar for 2019 and beyond: grow tourism by 6 percent every year. To do that, the Central American country has invested $210 million USD in hospitality property development. The investment’s most recent manifestation has been Costa Rica’s first Hard Rock Hotel, set to open later this year in Guanacaste. Alejandra Espinosa, director of business development for RCI Mexico, Central America, and Mexican Caribbean, says Costa Rica’s strategy for growth involves not catering to the most popular travel trends but rather finding travelers whose interests align with their current offerings.
One of the country’s biggest such offerings is its alluring landscape. Despite taking up less than one percent of the earth’s landmass, Costa Rica is home to 5 percent of the world’s biodiversity, with 29 national parks, 19 wildlife refuges, and eight biological reserves. “Currently, Costa Rica has a varied offering of tourist services and products, including ecotourism, sun and beach, adventure, and rural tourism,” Espinosa says.
Costa Rica, Espinosa says, has always been attractive to developers of vacation ownership, with resorts affiliated for 40 years that are still active in sales in the Guanacaste area. “In recent years we have seen a renewed interest in Costa Rica, which is why large international chains have arrived,” Espinosa says. “It is a market that will continue to grow in the coming years.” And one likely to appeal to developers: Seventy percent of timeshare owners are international, and tourism has grown, topping two million visitors in 2018.
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