Health tourism also brings visitors to the country and it is an area where Costa Rica can continue to develop its infrastructure to tap further into this growing market. Already known as a destination for medical tourists, Costa Rica is now competing with newer destinations, such as Puerto Rico, for the millions of Americans, and other nationalities, who travel abroad for medical care.
In the same vein as health tourism, Costa Rica is making retirement communities a priority to keep visitor numbers up. The country is targeting North American pensioners and is doing away with the red tape of residence permits, especially for those in good health. Tax exemptions on real estate and vehicles are also being offered. The campaign is being run by the Costa Rican Institute of Tourism. Meanwhile, the competitiveness ministry has already identified eight locations for retirement communities, focussing on areas with natural beauty, tourist attractions and in proximity to hospitals.
Another tourism draw to Costa Rica is spa and well-being vacations. Costa Rica has been recognised by TripAdvisor users as one of the best places in Central and South America to enjoy spa getaways. Some areas that well-being tourists are targeting are the hot springs near the Arenal Volcano, the beaches of the Nicoya Peninsula (home of yoga retreats) and the back to nature setting of the Central Valley region. The planned regeneration of the province of Limon, on the less frequently visited Caribbean coast, has the potential to put upward pressure on inbound tourism numbers. Puerto Limon was once the town of the United Fruit Company and the province has two national parks. The parks have the potential to be a large tourism driver, with a tour by one company, Wildland Adventures, having recently been named one of the '25 Best New Trips for 2010' by National Geographic Adventure magazine. In our view, developing the tourism infrastructure in the region will likely unlock great potential.
In early 2010, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) approved grants of US$1.1mn and US$1.5mn to support two parts of the Mesoamerica Pacific Corridor Project. The corridor runs through seven countries from Mexico to Panama. The Optimization of Border Crossings Pacific Corridor grant will be used to improve passage over borders and the Adjustment, Maintenance and Operation of the Pacific Corridor grant will improve road infrastructure over 2015-2030. The project aims to develop a quicker route between Mexico and Panama. BMI believes that as well as fostering trade in the region, the development of infrastructure has the potential to increase tourism as travel will be much more feasible.
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Report Table of Contents:
Industry Forecast Scenario
- Table: Arrivals Data, 2006-2014
- Table: Tourism Expenditure, 2006-2014
- Inbound Tourism
- Table: Tourism Arrivals By Region, 2006-2014
- Table: Tourism Arrivals By Country, 2006-2014 ('000)
- Outbound Tourism
- Table: Outbound Tourism Data, 2006-2014
- Table: Resident Departures By Destination Country, 2006-2014 ('000)
Market Overview - Travel
- Commercial Airlines
- Global Oil Products Price Outlook
- Table: Oil Product Price Assumptions, Q409-Q410 (US$/bbl)
- Table: Oil Product Price Data And Forecasts, 2007-2014 (US$/bbl)
Market Overview - Hospitality
- Accommodation Developments
- Table: Global And Regional Real GDP Growth And Exchange Rates, 2009-2012
- Table: Global Assumptions, 2008-2014
- Table: Developed States' Real GDP Growth, 2009-2012
- Table: Emerging Markets' Real GDP Growth, 2009-2012
- Nature Air
- How We Generate Our Industry Forecasts
- Tourism Industry
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