98 per cent drop in international travelers in Costa Rica during the first months of reopening

San Jose. Photo by The Costa Rica News. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

SAN JOSE, Oct 6, 2020, The Costa Rica News. Some 6,000 tourists have entered the country since the airports reopened on August 1st, a figure that contrasts with the 290,000 people who were counted in the same period of the previous year, The Costa Rica News reported.

This represents a 98% drop in international travelers during those two months, despite opening the borders, according to the figures released by the Costa Rican Tourism Institute (ICT) in a statement.However, so far the Institute has not published the statistics for the month of September. These are usually published in the middle of the following month.

For August, the ICT reports 1,636 international arrivals by air compared to 174,109 in 2019. During that first month, entry from the United States was not yet allowed, so most came from Europe, with 1,199 people.

The country has gradually allowed entry from more countries and US states. It was until September 1st that the entry from some states with the lowest incidence of contagion in the United States was approved.

Reopening to the United States

Gustavo Segura, Rector Minister of Tourism, announced this past Friday that the tourism “pilot plan” has had good results and as of November 1st, all States in the United States will be allowed to enter.

“The tourists that entered to date Costa Rica have met all established requirements and there has not been reported as carriers or infected with COVID; which allows us to say that International tourism is a mechanism for reactivating employment with low epidemiological risk,”Segura said.

As of November 1st, it will no longer be necessary to present proof of residence as all US states will be enabled.

“Today’s announcement of the opening is very important. With this, there is a margin of time so that the airlines can program their routes, assign their planes, take the tickets for sale and begin to see a more important flow of international reservations than we have had to date ”, he added.

This entry will be allowed just before the country’s high season, which usually begins at the end of November with the Thanksgiving holiday in the United States.To enter Costa Rica, tourists must have a negative result in a PCR test taken no more than 72 hours before the flight to Costa Rica.

Tourists arriving in Costa Rica during the Pandemic

“To date, approximately 6,000 tourists have entered, all complying with strict protocols, and none of whom have been reported as carriers or infected with COVID 19,” the ICT revealed.

Slow restart

Americans accounted for 53% of the 2.4 million international visitors by air during 2019.Meanwhile, some hotels have only recently opened or scheduled to reopen in the coming months.

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