With the integration of new technologies and more efficient means of long distance travel, international travel and tourism have grown at a remarkable pace. In the USA the travel and tourism industry is the nation's largest retail industry, and over the last decade the total of US outbound travel has grown at a rate 4.5% annually. Reasons for this growth include a healthy domestic economy and the devaluation of currency in other regions that has made travel less expensive for U.S. residents.
Costa Rica tourism is the number one source of income, and every year, the numbers continue to grow. In the past year alone, new direct flights have been programmed from Chicago, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Phoenix, as well as Madrid, adding to the long list of existing direct flights such as Miami, Orlando, Houston, Dallas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Atlanta and others. Numbers consitently grow as new visitors flock to Costa Rica along with the endless number of repeat visitors who continue to return.
The ease of travel, friendly people, relatively low prices, variety of destinations and activities are just a few of the reasons that Costa Rica is on the top of everyone's list of places to go. This past year, the following awards were just a few that were awarded to Costa Rica.
INTERNATIONAL AWARDS FOR COSTA RICA, 2003-2004:
- RECOMMEND magazine: Number one destination in Latin America for ecotourism and adventure tourism, 2004.
- Adventure site iexplore jointly with National Geographic recommends Costa Rica as one of the ten best destinations for adventure tourism worldwide, 2003.
- MODERN BRIDE magazine: Best destination for honeymoons, 2003.
- RECOMMEND magazine: Number one destination in Latin America for ecotourism and adventure tourism, 2003.
According to the ICT (Costa Rica Tourist Board), estimates done indicate that for December 31st of this year, our country will have welcomed one million five hundred thousand tourists. This figure is higher than last year's by 12%. This percentage is apparently higher than expected for the sector at the beginning of the year. On the year 2003 Costa Rica touism captured over one million two-hundred thousand tourists. Of those one million two-hundred thousand received last year, the majority are from the United States of America, followed by visitors from Central America and Europeans. The rest are from countries such as Canada, Mexico and South American nations. From an investment standpoint, all of this is fabulous news. Whether you are interested in buying a home or condo to rent as investment income, a piece of land, an existing business, the constant and increasing flow of Costa Rica tourism will only continue to increase demand and assist investors in making their decision a profitable one.