Costa Rica set a goal of attracting more cruise ships to its ports, not only because of the number of passengers who invest their money in tours and the possibility of returning but also because of the opportunity for domestic producers and the generation of direct jobs.
Through the Estrategia Nacional de Cruceros (National Cruise Strategy) and the advice of the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA), the country will adjust its infrastructure and logistics to increase the number of ships that arrive both Puntarenas and Limón each season, which runs from October to March.
The closing of the last season was marked by the arrival of the Disney Wonder, with capacity for 2,500 passengers, after a seven-year absence.
The effort will be led by the Instituto Costarricense de Turismo (ICT), the Junta de Administración Portuaria y de Desarrollo Económico de la Vertiente Atlántica and the Instituto Costarricense de Puertos del Pacífico – Costa Rican Institute of Tourism, the Board of Port Administration and Economic Development of the Atlantic Coast, and the Costa Rican Institute of Ports of the Pacific – as well as the private sector.
This will give Costa Rica a guide that involves improvements in port infrastructure, tourism operations and security, on which the Strategy will be based. It will also give access to the Programa de Marketing de Destinos (Destination Marketing Program) to increase the demand for cruise lines, with travel agencies and consumers.
“There are few destinations in the world and less in the region that have the country brand as developed as we are. One mentions Costa Rica and already people make an exotic vision of jungle, animals, nature, sustainability, that is the great benefit of the country, what our passengers want to visit, “said Federico González, Vice President of Government Relations for Latin America at Royal Caribbean.
Based on information from the ICT, Incop, Japdeva theDirección General de Migración y Extranjería (DGME) – immigration service – there were 150 cruise ship arrivals in the 2014-2015 season, with a total of 223,037 passengers; 186 ships and 242,930 passengers in 2015-2016; and 250 ships and 280,854 passengers in 2016-2017.
Tourism is one of the main engines of Costa Rica’s economy, a country of less than 5 million inhabitants that receives almos three million tourists each year.
Source (in Spanish): La Republica