Tortuguero records a record 186 species in its fourth bird survey

 

  • The fourth bird survey was held this weekend in Tortuguero National Park with an official record of 186 species, surpassing the 149 species recorded in a previous survey.

Sunday, January 31, 2021 - From whichever angle you look at it, Tortuguero is a majestic, imposing place. Its wealth of biodiversity makes it one of Costa Rica’s most impressive locales: tours of the canals and other areas offer a chance to view a wide variety of bird species.

This weekend, a precise count of the bird species was held in the fourth annual bird survey. A group of approximately 70 people were given the task of making observations along nine aquatic and land routes.

The team of scientists, guides, volunteers and birding experts aimed to count as many species as possible in a systematized manner, beginning at 5 a.m. on Saturday.

The results obtained included a historical record of 186 migratory and native species, over 35 more than had been recorded in previous surveys. The preliminary findings included the identification of the red-throated and tanager, the first record of the species in Tortuguero.

According to Manuel Campbell, coordinator of this year’s survey and a ranger in Tortuguero National Park, significant improvements in logistics allowed for a record number of birds to be counted. “We achieved a significant increase in over surveys in recent years, and we certainly take pride in these findings as a reflection of the biodiversity present in Tortuguero,” the expert concluded.

Birdwatching strengthens as niche

“For the Costa Rican Tourism Board, it is important to support these initiatives because it is one of our main pillars that include research, protection and development of birdwatching tourism. This year, as part of the activities of World Wetlands Day, which is celebrated every February 2, the fourth bird survey was held in Tortuguero with remarkable success. A new record of 186 species were registered, which helps the monitoring of birds in this spectacular habitat,” said Rafael Soto, coordinator of the National Bird Route Program of the ICT.

This survey is a note of optimism for scientists and experts nature and birdwatching tourism. The Northwestern Caribbean Wetland (where Tortuguero is located) is recognized under the Ramsar Convention for its significant ecological value.

According to ICT data, Costa Rica is home to over 900 species of birds which have been recorded in various tourist regions and observation sites. Birdwatching tourism represents a constantly growing niche that provides travelers with unique experiences observing a variety of species without having to travel long distances.

National Geographic Traveller designates Costa Rica as one of the most incredible travel destinations and a pioneer in sustainable tourism

 

  • The English edition of the magazine lists Costa Rica alongside places like Scotland, Gabon, South Africa and Greenland, as well as Helsinki, Finland and Porto, Portugal, among others.

Friday, January 29, 2021 - In a ranking published in National Geographic Traveller, Costa Rica has been selected as the first of 35 must-visit countries this year. The choice was based on the unforgettable experiences of visitors to the country, as well as Costa Rica’s commitment to a sustainable tourism model centered around caring for the environment. The country’s attractions also include its incredible biodiversity and the fact that over one quarter of the nation’s area is protected in National Parks and Conservation Areas.

The National Geographic editorial team set out to select the best global destinations for loyal travelers committed to safeguarding the environment and enjoying natural wonders.

Costa Rica appears at the head of an extensive 15-page report in the January and February issue of the UK edition of the renowned international magazine.

“Do you want to get away? Imagine a country where a quarter of its territory is covered by national parks, a place where you can walk through the rainforest in the morning and surf in the afternoon. Imagine an Eden of adventure where sustainability was a strategy long before the world caught on, where jaguars roam the jungle, mighty birds soar through the sky and lizards walk on water before your eyes,” begins the article dedicated to our country.

It goes on to state that the country is Costa Rica, which is celebrating the bicentennial of its independence this year and intends to mark the occasion by becoming the first carbon-neutral country in the world in the coming years.

“Tourism is an urgently needed vehicle for revitalizing the economy and these publications confirm the work that has been done for years to position Costa Rica as a destination that is committed to sustainability. Therefore, it is vital to continue the hard work of helping the sector recover and ensuring that more travelers continue to enjoy our country’s beauty,” states Gustavo J. Segura, Minister of Tourism.

Costa Rica on the world stage

This publication in National Geographic Traveller forms part of the efforts to promote and position Costa Rica as an eco-friendly destination and as a sanctuary for reconnecting with the essentials of life. After months of pandemic, the ICT is undertaking these efforts with the support of its UK agency partner, Four Communications.

Over the second half of 2020 and January 2021, ICT has worked with 40 international journalists from major source markets and relevant media, showcasing the country’s tourism development model. Their publications have shared the essence, culture and idiosyncrasies of Costa Rica while highlighting compliance with strict protocols in tourism activities.

Playa Hermosa, Guanacaste, becomes Costa Rica’s first beach with 100% accessible facilities

 

  • The project is part of the Accessible Beach Program, led by the Costa Rican Accessible Tourism Network Association with support from the ICT, the private sectors and the Municipality of Carrillo, Guanacaste. 
  • A trailer equipped with bathrooms and changing tables will be in Playa Hermosa, Guanacaste for six months and then travel to other beaches and towns in the country.

Saturday, January 23, 2021. Costa Rica’s first 100% accessible beach is now a reality thanks to the official inauguration of a trailer equipped with bathrooms, adapted showers, changing tables, a lift for people in wheelchairs, changing beds and toilets.

With support from the Costa Rican Tourism Board, the private sector and the Municipality of Carrillo, Guanacaste, the Costa Rican Accessible Tourism Network Association launched the Accessible Beach Project on Saturday morning.

Beginning today, the beach will also have a 52-meter retractable walkway that provides access to the sea, as well as several amphibious chairs and other facilities. The walkway was made from recycled wood and 2,600 kilograms of plastic caps.

The trailer will be rotated throughout the country, arriving at a different beach every six months, while the Costa Rican Accessible Tourism Network will provide training to businesses in beachside locations on topics such as customer service and assistance, as well as the meaning of disability and the use of appropriate language. Persons with disabilities and their attendants will enjoy the facilities free of charge when visiting the trailer.

Prior to the inauguration, some 40 community volunteers conducted a beach cleanup and collected almost half a ton of solid waste.

“The launch of the Accessible Beach Program will allow for a significant improvements to the experience of persons with disabilities by providing them with a modern, well-equipped accessible trailer with bathrooms and changing tables adapted under universal accessibility laws to allow people to shower and use the bathrooms safely. These are coupled with an outdoor setting on the beach that includes adequate parking, accessible trails with a retractable walkway to access the sea, amphibious chairs, signage and trained staff,” said Alberto Lopez, general manager of the ICT.

For Stephanie Sheehy, president of the Costa Rican Chamber of Accessible Tourism, the inauguration of this project is a source of joy and motivation to move forward. “We have experienced a wonderful achievement, because we have fought with all our energy and our hearts for Costa Rica to become a destination for all people, with equal conditions for every visitor, especially those with physical, cognitive or sensory disabilities and seniors. The complex is fully accessible to all and represents a new step in sustainability and a new route for our country as a tourist destination,” said the spokeswoman.

According to data from the Costa Rican Accessible Tourism Network Association, few countries in the world have inclusive changing tables of this kind. Even more unique is the mobile design, with changing tables and showers in a trailer designed to be moved from one beach to another. Countries with such facilities include the United Kingdom, Australia, Germany, Ireland, New Zealand, Spain, United States, Sweden and France. Costa Rica’s mobile trailer design makes it a unique addition to the list.

The route to an accessible beach

In January 2017, the Costa Rican Accessible Tourism Network Association began seeking additional sponsorships to make this project a reality.

In July 2019, the organization was part of a select group of innovative projects and organizations from around the world that were invited to participate in a program organized by Booking.com, a leading digital travel platform, to identify and support non-profit projects in sustainable tourism.

Because of the unique and holistic combination of social and environmental impact, as well as its inclusive approach to helping everyone enjoy a visit to the beach, the Accessible Beaches Project was among a handful of successful initiatives to win a grant from Booking.com to help bring its vision to life.

The total cost of this project is around US $150,000, which went to the design of the prototypes, importing equipment, construction, research and development.

This initiative is part of a larger nationwide effort, which was recognized last November as the “Best Accessible Destination” by the Lonely Planet travel guide thanks to the many efforts made across the country, of which the Accessible Beach Program is now a part.

For its first six-month deployment in Playa Hermosa, Guanacaste, the accessible trailer will be placed at the Bosque del Mar Hotel and will be operated from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Elements of the Accessible Beach Program from the Costa Rican Accessible Tourism Network.

In addition to the trailer, the Accessible Beach Program includes the following facilities for persons with disabilities:

  • Designated parking for persons with disabilities.
  • Accessible path between the parking lot and the trailer, plus a retractable walkway made with recycled plastic from the DONATAPA campaign.
  • Amphibious chairs made with recycled plastic from the DONATAPA project and floating arches. Both allow users to safely enjoy the beach and the sea.
  • Mechanical lift on the trailer to transfer individuals from a wheelchair to the amphibious chair and to safely use the toilet, sunbathing chair and beach recliner.
  • Toilets and changing rooms adapted for universal accessibility, allowing anyone to shower, change and use the toilet in a safe, comfortable and decent way in the accessible trailer.
  • Training and accessibility support in local businesses.
  • Visible, easy-to-understand signage with illustrations.
  • The entire design uses high-impact colors for the visually impaired.

For more information about accessible beaches and the development of the project, see the website www.costaricaturismoaccesible.com as well as the Facebook profile: Costa Rican Accessible Tourism Network. You can also contact us directly at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by phone at 89179727.

Costa Rica seeks to position itself as the perfect destination to connect with life’s essential values

 

  • “Only the Essentials” is the ICT’s new international campaign to promote the country in the United States and Canada, its two main tourist-sending markets, over the next two years.
  • The campaign will be present on billboards, buses, taxis and the Chicago subway, as well as digital and print media, specialized tourism organizations, Google and Bing search engines and social media, among others.
  • The launch is part of the job creation and economic growth plan announced on national television this Sunday by the President of the Republic.

Visiting Costa Rica is an opportunity to connect with the essence of life: nature, wellness, culture and adventure. This is the message that the Costa Rican Tourism Board used to launch its new “Only the Essentials” promotional campaign in the country’s two largest tourist-sending markets, the United States of America and Canada.

“The campaign seeks to form a personal connection to what really matters in life, which is what Costa Rica offers through its vast array of experiences, its numerous landscapes, nature, culture and adventure. This is a call to go back to the essential”, said Maria Amalia Revelo, the Minister of Tourism.

“Only the Essentials is an evolution of the concept that encapsulates the Essential Costa Rica country brand”, noted Revelo during the launch activity held Monday at the Cubo de Cristal at the Estadio Nacional.

The event was attended by President Alvarado as well as the Minister of Planning and Economic Policy, Pilar Garrido and dozens of representatives of the National Chamber of Tourism and local tourism associations. 

President Alvarado highlighted the importance of tourism activities, reminding the audience that its direct and indirect impacts represent 8.2% of the country’s GDP and is the main source of income for thousands of families. “Tourism is an engine of the Costa Rican economy that this government seeks to promote to continue creating jobs, growth and wellness in the country”, he pointed out.

Continuing, he referred to the economic growth plan announced Sunday on national television, which will be focused on four action areas: public investment, private investment, hiring incentives and economic measures for private households.

The tourism campaign launch was framed within this plan, the full details of which will be released on Tuesday, September 3. 

 

 

Campaign 

Beginning on September 2 and with a duration of two years, the campaign will be active in the US cities of New York, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Minneapolis, Las Vegas, Tampa-Orlando, Denver, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Seattle, Austin, Detroit, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Dallas-Houston, Atlanta, Boston and Chicago. In Canada, it will include Toronto, Montreal and Calgary.

Outdoor advertising will see “Only the Essentials” present on billboards, buses, taxis and Chicago subway stations. In addition, it will be promoted in digital media including online travel agencies, specialized tourism organizations like TripAdvisor, personalized content, media including Condé Nast, the Afar travel magazine and the prestigious New York Times, among others, as well as social media and the Google and Bing search engines.

This international campaign was produced at ICT’s request by the American advertising agency MMGY and Costa Rican producer Luz Marina, who filmed the local landscapes over the course of a week.

Before implementing “Only the Essentials”, eight focus group sessions were organized to evaluate the proposal. Four of these sessions were held in the Canadian cities of Montreal and Toronto, while the other four were held in New York and Los Angeles. Residents of the cities chosen participated in the focus groups based on target markets, tastes and preferences. 

This is the fourth international campaign that ICT is holding to promote Costa Rica in North America. The first one was “No Artificial Ingredients” in 1997, followed by “The Gift of Happiness”, “Save the Americans” and “My Choice, Naturally”.  

Tourism by the numbers

Tourism is one of the main engines of the country’s economy. According to the Tourism Satellite Account of the Central Bank of Costa Rica, the tourism industry directly accounts for 6.3% of the national economy and 1.9% indirectly, which adds up to 8.2% of the Gross Domestic Product.

In addition, 8.8% of the country’s total employment comes directly from tourism. Combined with the productive linkages and indirect employment the industry generates, it represents the main source of income for thousands of Costa Rican families. 

During the first half of 2019, the country saw 1,549,812 international arrivals by air, the main source of visitors to the country. Of this total, 65% came from the United States and Canada.

 

Costa Rican Ministry of Health continues monitoring to prevent methanol poisoning

 

  • No domestic or international tourists have been affected, Health Ministry reports

The Ministry of Health of the Government of Costa Rica, in collaboration with other authorities, is continuing to work to prevent new cases of methanol poisoning due to the consumption of tainted alcohol.

In total, 72 patients have been hospitalized with methanol poisoning, of whom 26 have died. The most recent death occurred on August 1, after which date no new deaths have been reported. The deceased include 19 men and 7 women.

The Ministry of Health is continuing its regular monitoring, in the course of which around 65,500 bottles of banned liquor have been removed from stores, belonging to the following brands: “Guaro Montano”, “Guaro Chonete”, “Guaro Cuerazo”, “Guaro Sacheto”, “Guaro Gran Apache”, “Aguardiente Estrella Roja”, “Aguardiente Barón Rojo”, “Aguardiente Timbuka” and “Aguardiente Molotov”.

No tourists have been affected by the tainted alcohol in Costa Rica, though the Ministry of Health is making a renewed call to locals and foreigners not to consume or purchase the brands covered by the health warning until the ban is lifted.

For more information and updates in this matter, please see https://www.ministeriodesalud.go.cr/ in the news section.

 

ICT becomes Google Trusted Verifier

 

  • Tourism sector business leaders can use this certification to validate the location of their businesses using Google Maps Costa Rica.
  • This possibility has come about through a collaboration with Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs).

A collaboration between the Costa Rican Tourism Board (ICT) and the multinational company Google has resulted in ICT becoming a Google Trusted Verifier. This means that the institution can validate the accuracy of tourism businesses that want to be included in Google Maps.

This authentication will allow companies to enjoy certain advantages on the platform, including:  

  • A certified business can upload photos of its facilities as well as information and events it will organize, which will be seen by tourists on the platform.
  • A certified business is the owner of its listing, meaning that no one can modify it. If it is not verified, anyone can modify information about your business on Google Maps.Google’s Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) collaboration program formed the framework for the two organizations to work together. This program seeks to integrate new content and precise information on local points of interest and businesses into Google Maps, as well as to improve their online presence using panoramic streetview images.“There are over a billion monthly users of Google Maps, and we know through Google that consumers use mapping products over 44% of the time when they initially look for places to visit”, Wang continued. “Taking a further step to help our local businesses and attractions to be visible on this platform will help each one individually, while also ensuring that our destination as a whole looks vibrant and attractive to potential visitors, students, residents and even private investors”. What is the process for a business to become certified?
  • The Google DMO partnership program was announced at the 2017 Annual Convention of Destinations International and was recently opened to all DMOs.
  • “We want to support destination marketing organizations to add the best and most relevant localizations to Google Maps and to fill out city information”, added Wendy Wang from Google.
  • “At ICT, we recommend that tourism sector businesspeople take advantage of this opportunity, which is free of charge, useful and very functional in terms of business marketing”, noted Rafael Quesada, Head of Publicity at ICT.
  1. Sign up at: https://www.google.com/intl/es_cr/business/

Registration is completely free, though you will not yet be certified.

  1. To become certified, you will need to send the QR code that the platform gives you by e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">carlos.umañThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

* If the business has a Tourism Declaration, you will only need to send the QR code. If you don’t have a certification, you will also need to attach documentation to validate the business and that it is up to date with all the legal requirements, as well as photographs of the location

 

International Planet, People and Peace Conference (P3): Ten years and seven conferences contributing to sustainable tourism

 

  • Biennial congress is the only international event held by Costa Rica on sustainable tourism issues.

On September 4-6, the Costa Rica Convention Center will host the International Conference on Sustainable Tourism: Planet, People, Peace – P3, a conference held by the Costa Rica Tourism Board (ICT) and the National Chamber of Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism (CANAECO).

The seventh conference will bring exhibitors and visitors from around the world to our country to exchange opinions, form proposals, discuss success stories and engage with various visions and sector knowledge in the area of sustainable tourism and similar areas.

A total of 34 exhibitors from Costa Rica and abroad, from a total of over 14 countries, will speak on issues including Integrated Tourist Destination Management, Sustainable Cuisine, Health and Wellness through Sustainable Tourism, Tourism for Peace and many other topics over two days.

The exhibitors include Héctor Ceballos from Mexico, Ben Page from the United States, Florian Dirksen from the Netherlands and figures such as Vanessa Hauc, a journalist from the international Telemundo chain and the documentary filmmaker Nigel Marven from National Geographic.

Tourism Minister Maria Amalia Revelo, speaking about the importance of this event for Costa Rica, noted that “P3 has become a conference with international prestige for discussions that touch on new trends and sustainability projects with valuable contributions from local and international experts. The historic support from ICT for this event over its long history is in line with the cross-cutting commitment to sustainability in our Development Plan and our global promotion of Costa Rican as a tourist destination”.

An Example of Sustainability

“P3 has positioned itself as a model sustainable event that stands out for its application of best practices to reduce waste, save energy, measure and offset the carbon footprint the event creates, as well as providing information on sustainability issues”, explained Fernando Madrigal, President of CANAECO.

From 2010 to the present, CANAECO has contributed around $18,000 to the national reforestation plan to offset 4,472 tons of greenhouse gases generated by 1,138 domestic and international flights. Its actions also support the country’s National Decarbonization Plan, which seeks to reach net zero emissions by 2050.

The Conference has received a Declaration of Tourism Interest for the fourth time due to its importance to the sector, as well as receiving a Declaration of Cultural Interest for the third time.

Permanent efforts

CANAECO’s work is not limited to the period in which the P3 Conference is held, but rather spans the full year.

A demonstration if this is that some 1,817 people and 1,107 businesses and institutions have been trained between 2010 to 2019 in workshops, talks, online courses and educational tours. This is in addition to the 1,400 people who have attended P3 conferences.

In addition, the organization holds Volunteering Days focused on environmental, social and cultural issued, where workers from the tourism sector and similar areas devote their time and efforts to collecting recyclable waste, cleaning public areas, planting trees and supporting organizations like Chepe Se Baña and the food bank.

The idea is to raise awareness among the population of the value of each person’s actions for the planet, which is the inspiration behind this year’s social media campaign, which uses the hashtag #HacéQueCuente (make it count). 

Costa Rica Convention Center receives LEED Gold sustainability certification thanks to ICT leadership

 

  • The award was granted by the U.S. Green Building Council.
  • The Gold Level is the second-highest rank of the well-known LEED Certification.

Through each of its phases, from design to construction and operation, the Costa Rica Convention Center has maintained a vision of being one of Latin America’s most sustainable event venues. Thanks to the organized and systematic efforts led by the Management and Support Division of the Costa Rican Tourism Board, this building has received the international LEED certification. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.

This modern property, which has been called our country’s “visible face of meeting and congress tourism” received the LEED Gold certification in August, coinciding with the celebrations of its first year in operation, with over 200 local and international events with a focus on sustainability.

“This certification is a process that has come together over several years. It was always meant to reflect the cross-cutting principle of sustainability in the Costa Rican tourism model. The property was designed with a vision that it would become an icon of sustainability in terms of electricity consumption, rainwater harvesting, treatment plants and much more. The LEED Gold certification shows that we are on the right track and have a building that is environmentally friendly”, said Gustavo Alvarado, Director of Tourism Management at ICT.

The award was granted by the U.S. Green Building Council, which uses the LEED system to certify the main convention centers in the United States and other locations around the world.

The certification assesses various points, including:

  • Sustainable Site: seeks to minimize the building’s impact on the soil and water, which is why building in non-urban areas is not recommended.
  • Water Efficiency: optimizes water consumption inside and outside the building.
  • Energy & Atmosphere: energy-efficient design and buildings, efficient thermal and lighting installations, monitoring and use of renewable energy, among other criteria.
  • Material & Resources: incentivizes the use of sustainable materials in manufacturing, transportation and use, as well as reducing waste and recycling.
  • Indoor Environmental Quality: assesses the improvement in indoor air quality, the use of natural light, noise reduction and the quality of outdoor views.
  • Location & Community Relations: assesses the deployment of the building into already inhabited areas, far from environmentally sensitive areas, close to existing infrastructure and green areas.
  • Design innovation.

CCCR awarded gold category

Each category accounts for prerequisites and credits, the total of which adds up to 110 points. The minimum level is 40 points, while the next level, silver, begins at 50 points. The gold level is reached at 60 points and 80 or more points result in the platinum level. The Convention Center achieved the gold level, which is valid for its lifetime.

“In our vision, we wanted to set the standard in Latin America in three specific areas: quality of service, operational efficiency and sustainability, which is why this LEED certification – especially at the gold level – reinforces our work at Grupo Heroica and the ICT to put it on the map as an example to follow in these areas, which has become a distinguishing feature in the eyes of our clients”, said Álvaro Rojas, General Manager of the Costa Rica Convention Center.

Some of the features that contributed to the awarding of the LEED Gold accreditation to the Costa Rica Convention Center were the following:

  • Accessibility of the project by alternative transportation.
  • Infrastructure to support the use of bicycles at the project site.
  • Preferential parking spaces for efficient and low-emission vehicles.
  • Water savings of 43% through the use of efficient fixtures (toilets, washbasins, urinals).
  • Reduction of 50% in the use of drinking water for irrigation through re-use of treatment plant water.
  • Lighting and high-efficiency air conditioning systems.
  • Domes that increase the amount of natural light the facility receives.
  • Preference for local materials to reduce the project’s carbon footprint.
  • Design of re-circulation systems for outdoor air, which minimizes the concentration of CO2 for the comfort and health of occupants.

Installation of photovoltaic panels (in process)

 

 

Tourists to receive personalized, dynamic information from three-toed sloth

 

  • ICT will implement a chatbot on the website visitcostarica.com to respond to user queries 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • Mr. Sloth will be responsible for assisting tourists in a Spanish- and English-language chat, equipped with a constantly improving artificial intelligence.

Beginning this month, Mr. Sloth, a three-toed sloth, will be the face of a new chatbot serving domestic and international tourists. The interactive application is driven by artificial intelligence, and has been developed by the Costa Rican Tourism Board (ICT) to improve access to the information on the visitcostarica.com website, which is visited by over 1.2 million users every year.

Mr. Sloth has been programmed to use colloquial language and a friendly personality when interacting with users in English and Spanish. He provides information, general recommendations and notifications, using intelligent functions that allow him to find links between searches and results, which facilitates his learning and continuous improvement.

Currently, Mr. Sloth can respond to over 20,000 questions, with a key advantage being that this number will increase over time as the tool is used. The chatbot will also help delve into the concerns, questions and search preferences of tourists who are interested in visiting our country. For certain specific questions, the bot will be able to provide additional information. Furthermore, it processes a large number of requests quickly and navigates using multiple databases to offer results with no downtime.

“Service to tourists has to be efficient and high-quality, which is why the use of new technologies like this chatbot, which uses artificial intelligence, is an important step for our administration and the support we offer to domestic and international tourists, providing them with responses to their queries and 24/7 information needs as they plan their trip to Costa Rica”, said Víctor Ramírez, ICT’s Tourism Service Director.

A constantly evolving tool

According to ICT, Mr. Sloth’s objective is to improve access to tourist information about the destination, as well as providing assistance and safety information for tourists before they arrive in our country.

The application has to have logic mechanisms and clear instructions in order to work correctly, so that users can interact with it and resolve their inquiries. Once operational, developers will be continuously testing it and periodically evaluating it to improve the level of precision of the answers, ensuring that it functions according to its objectives and does so in an effective manner.

This chatbot, the first of its kind in Central America, is one of the technological tools that ICT is implementing to improve its assistance to tourists.

According to information recently released by ICT, some 1,335,687 visits were recorded by tourists entering the country by air, which represents growth of 4.5% compared to the same period in 2018. The average stay by international tourists in Costa Rica is 11 nights.

Features of Mr. Sloth / Señor Perezoso de Tres Dedos

  • Name: Mr. Sloth or Señor Perezoso de Tres Dedos
  • Personality: Friendly, attentive and always willing to help out
  • Type of bot: WebChat with artificial intelligence.
  • Response precision: 70% (initial percentage that will be increased based on the number of responses received).

Training level: Intermediate but with constant improvement.

 

International air arrivals increase by 4.5%

 

  • 1,336,687 arrivals were recorded between January and June, with the largest growth occurring in the first quarter.
  •  Germans accounted for almost half of the additional European arrivals.

During the first six months of this year, international arrivals by air grew to 1,335,687, which represents an increase of 4.5% over the same period in 2018, with 57,565 additional arrivals.

If all ports of entry to the country are considered (air, sea, land and river), international arrivals grew to 1,725,963 in the first six months of the year.

Going by airport, the increase was 7.5% in Daniel Oduber International Airport, with 356,175 arrivals in the first six months of 2019, compared to 331,187 in the same period in 2018. At Juan Santamaría, which welcomes most of the tourists arriving in the country, there was a 3.5% increase in the first six months of 2019, for a total of 979,651 arrivals.

“The figures reflect stable, strong growth”, said the Minister of Tourism, Maria Amalia Revelo. “The increase in arrivals from Europe is particularly gratifying, since it shows that Costa Rica is growing as an important destination in that market”, the minister added. Of the 9,098 additional arrivals from Europe in the first six months of the year, 4,257 are from Germany, with arrivals from that country growing by 13.7%.

The ICT’s international arrival statistics are based on data provided by the Office of the Director-General of Immigration and Foreign Nationals (DGME).

ICT creates its destination promotion plan for each country based on the arrival statistics.

 

Última Modificación: 23/06/2024.
Instituto Costarricense de Turismo