Costa Rica is becoming an increasingly popular holiday destination among Germans – a fact confirmed by the country’s tourist board, the Instituto Costarricense de Turismo. In 2016 Costa Rica reported 67,939 arrivals from Germany, 2.2 per cent more than the previous year. Now that new flight routes connecting Europe have been opened the aim is to ensure further growth in this source market. In 2016 arrivals from Europe numbered 434,884, an increase in visitors of 10.6 per cent. Tourists from the UK accounted for the largest share, followed by Germany, Spain, France and Switzerland.
According to the latest survey by the New Economics Foundation, the Happy Planet Index 2016 listed Costa Rica as one of the happiest nations on earth for the third year running. Among the reasons were Costa Rica’s efforts to protect the environment and the country’s commitment towards education and health. In 2016, for example, 99 per cent of Costa Rica’s electricity came from renewable sources. The country aims to be carbon-neutral by 2021.
At ITB Berlin 2017 the spotlight is on the many aspects of ecologically and socially responsible tourism in Costa Rica. The country supports the Certification for Sustainable Tourism (CST) programme that was introduced in 1996, and is regarded as a model of sustainable tourism.
In order to track the impact of progress and developments on the economy Costa Rica has also introduced an index to measure social progress (IPS). This is a comprehensive undertaking that measures how well off a society is in terms of GDP, income and competitiveness, in order to be able to balance intervention by the state, society and private enterprise. As a result, in 2017 Costa Rica received UNWTO’s Innovation and Excellence in Tourism Award.
Hall 22 b, booth 211
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