CostaRica Tourism Market, Growth Trends, Impact of COVID-19 and Forecast (2022-2027)

The Costa Rica Tourism Market can be segmented on the basis of type (local/domestic, international) and by purpose (Adventure, Business, Medical, Sea Farming and others).

Market Snapshot

Costa Rica Tourism Market Size
Study Period: 2018-2027
Base Year: 2021
CAGR: >12.3 %
Costa Rica Tourism Market Major Players

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Market Overview

The Costa Rican Tourism Market maintains close cooperation with local governments. A wide variety of Ministries are co-ordinating the market sector and overseen by the Minister of Tourism. Along with the Tourist Board, the ministries include the Ministry of Economy, Industry, and Commerce, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Public Works and Transportation, the Ministry of the Environment and Energy, the Ministry of Culture and Youth, the Ministry of Public Safety, Governance and Policy, the Costa Rican Institute of Pacific Ports, the Port Administration and Economic Development Board of the Atlantic Coast, the National Institute of Learning, the National Institute of Households and Urban Planning, the Costa Rican Institute of Aqueducts and Sewers, the Costa Rican Institute of Electricity, the National Geographic Institute and the National Institute of Rural Development.

Costa Rica experienced a serious decline in the tourism sector's contribution to its gross domestic product (GDP) due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. In 2020, this sector accounted directly and indirectly for only 5.3 percent of the country's GDP. In recent years, some key influencers on the travel and tourism industry have been globalization, digitalization, sustainability, and the coronavirus pandemic. Ease of mobility increased awareness of new destinations, and the internet as a source of information and commerce has caused the industry to grow exponentially. Yet with this growth has also come increasing public concern about the industry’s environmental impact, resulting in consumer demand for more sustainable travel options. That being said, the industry’s environmental impact declined significantly during the coronavirus pandemic, with travel bans and social distancing measures devastatingly affecting travel and tourism worldwide. When it comes to the industry's future, increased domestic tourism, excellent hygiene conditions, and contactless service are all examples of changing consumer interests due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The inbound tourism volume in Costa Rica recovered 33 percent in 2021 after the impact of COVID-19 in 2020. That year, only a little over one million tourist arrivals were registered in the Central American country.

Scope of the Report

The Costa Rica Tourism Market can be segmented on the basis of type (local/domestic, international) and by purpose (Adventure, Business, Medical, Sea Farming and others). The Costa Rica is located in the parts of North America and in the Central American region. Market prospects are excellent in a variety of sectors, including building products, construction equipment, hotel and restaurant equipment, solar energy, franchising, cosmetics, auto parts and service equipment, electric vehicles and related equipment, pharmaceuticals, packaging, education, and tourism to the Costa Rica market.

By Type
By Purpose
Sea Farming

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Key Market Trends

Growth in international tourist arrivals

Tourism makes a significant contribution to the economy of Costa Rica. In 2016, tourism directly contributed to 5.0% of GDP, and the new Tourism Satellite Account estimate that contribution of tourism to GDP rises to 8.2% when indirect effects are considered. In 2018, tourism directly employed 157 000 people, corresponding to 6.6% of total employment. Tourism is the country's most important foreign exchange source, contributing to CRC 2.2 trillion in 2018, a rise of 5.0% since 2016.

Year-on-year growth in international tourist arrivals has been, on average, 7.4% since 1990. Costa Rica is a year-round and long-stay destination. In 2018, there were 3.0 million inbound arrivals, up 1.9% over 2017, more than 2.3 million of which arrived by air. The average stay is 11.7 nights, which has steadily risen over time. By far, the largest source market for overseas visitors in 2018 was the United States with 1.3 million tourists (41.9% of total share), followed by Central America at 691 000 (22.9%), Europe (15.9%), and South America (6.3%). There is a target to grow international arrivals by 7.5% per annum toward 2021.

Costa Rica Tourism Market Trends

CostaRica's Improvement Medical Strength and Economic Activity boost the Tourism

Costa Rica’s strong healthcare system with high demand for chronic disease treatment will support Tourism market growth. Costa Rica will successfully vaccinate a majority of citizens in 2021. Supply and logistical hurdles will remain major, even with an expanded portfolio of potential vaccines. Costa Rica boasts a national health system that offers universal healthcare coverage. Costa Rica's health system, formally known as Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social (CCSS), is ranked by the Pan American Health Organization and World Health Organization as one of the best in Latin America.

Costa Rica Tourism Market Growth

Competitive Landscape

The major competitors are Expedia Group, Booking Holdings, Amex GBT, BCD Travel, CWT, Flight Centre, Travel Leaders Group, American Express, and Direct Travel. There are a limited number of domestic hotel chains in Costa Rica, although some smaller groups within the country are starting to expand. Most international groups are located in the capital, San José, along the Pacific coast, where the major resorts are located. By 2021, the vision for tourism in Costa Rica is to be a leading creator of foreign exchange and positively impact the well-being of a wide range of communities due to tourism businesses that compete on quality, innovation, and high productivity. For this, a comprehensive program for the management of tourist destinations was designed to support local management by providing key information for decision-making, to consolidate and increase competitiveness in the sector.

Recent Development

  • In 2021, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group is expanding its portfolio in Costa Rica with the country's first Radisson Blu branded hotel.
  • In 2021, The Nya project will be built on a 900ha site near the town of Liberia on the Pacific coast in northwest Costa Rica.

Table of Contents


    1. 1.1 Study Assumptions and Market Definition

    2. 1.2 Scope of the Study




    1. 4.1 Market Overview

    2. 4.2 Market Drivers

    3. 4.3 Market Restraints

    4. 4.4 Insights of impact on technology

    5. 4.5 Industry Attractiveness - Porters' Five Forces Analysis

      1. 4.5.1 Threat of New Entrants

      2. 4.5.2 Bargaining Power of Buyers

      3. 4.5.3 Bargaining Power of Suppliers

      4. 4.5.4 Threat of Substitutes

      5. 4.5.5 Intensity of Competitive Rivalry

    6. 4.6 Impact of COVID-19 on the Market


    1. 5.1 By Type

      1. 5.1.1 Local/Domestic

      2. 5.1.2 International

    2. 5.2 By Purpose

      1. 5.2.1 Adventure

      2. 5.2.2 Business

      3. 5.2.3 Medical

      4. 5.2.4 Sea Farming

      5. 5.2.5 Others*


    1. 6.1 Market Concetration Overview

    2. 6.2 Company Profiles

      1. 6.2.1 Expedia Group

      2. 6.2.2 Booking Holdings

      3. 6.2.3 Amex GBT

      4. 6.2.4 BCD Travel

      5. 6.2.5 CWT

      6. 6.2.6 Flight Centre

      7. 6.2.7 Travel Leaders Group

      8. 6.2.8 American Express Travel

      9. 6.2.9 Direct Travel

    3. *List Not Exhaustive


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Frequently Asked Questions

The Costa Rica Tourism market is studied from 2018 - 2027.

The Costa Rica Tourism is growing at a CAGR of >12.3% over the next 5 years.

Expedia Group, Booking Holdings, Amex GBT, BCD Travel, CWT are the major companies operating in Costa Rica Tourism .

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