The number of tourists who visited Costa Rica the first six months this year surpassed by 8.8% the figure for the same period in the year 2000, according to the Costa Rican Board of Tourism (ICT in Spanish).
The overall figure for the first part of the year 2001 was 453,000. The visitors from the United States increased by 16,000; therefore, the impact of the economic straits in the U.S. did not have as heavy an impact as had been expected, according to industry sources.
However, a negative impact cannot be ruled out yet, said Minister of Tourism Walter Niehaus. On the other hand, sector sources pointed out that more attention should be focused on South America as a source of visitors, since the arrivals from that area increased by 20.5 percent in the period analyzed.
Minister Niehaus added that the growth of the sector is expected and that efforts to attract more visitors do not stop. He explained that joint programs with the neighboring countries are under way, in order to offer tourists a larger diversity of attractions.