Costa Rica: Latin American Tourism Leader

from The Costa Rica News..

Source: Press Release

June 24, 2013

Costa Rica ranks second in Latin America in tourist-population ratio and third in receipt-GDP ratio, according to Latinvex analysis.

Costa Rica is among Latin America’s leaders when it comes to both tourism receipts as a percent of its GDP and visitors compared to its total population, according to an analysis by digital publication Latinvex based on data from the World Tourism Organization and the International Monetary Fund.

Costa Rica, the largest tourist market in Central America, last year saw the number of international arrivals grow by 6.9 percent to 2.3 million. That means that it ranks second to Uruguay when comparing visitor numbers to total population (45 percent).

Tourism receipts last year grew 12.7 percent to $2.4 billion. When compared to its GDP, that translates into 5.4 percent, which is Latin America’s third-highest rate after the Dominican Republic and Panama.

On average, each visitor spent $1,035 last year, considerably higher than the Latin American average, although just behind its Central American neighbor Guatemala ($1,087.40), according to Latinvex.

The analysis also shows that El Salvador was the Latin American winner in percentage terms of growth in tourism receipts (31.1 percent increase), while Nicaragua was among the four growth winners in tourism arrivals (11.3 percent).

Overall, Latin America received a total of 80.2 million international arrivals last year, an increase of 3.1 percent from 2011. That’s slower than the world growth rate of 4 percent. Total receipts reached $68.9 billion, a 5.3 percent increase. That’s higher than the world increase of 4.1 percent. However, there are big differences from region to region. Central America lead the way, with 8.9 percent growth, followed by South America, with 3.6 percent. Meanwhile, the Caribbean only grew 2.4 percent.

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