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Costa Rica Ready to Double Fam Trip Opportunities Next Year

Costa Rica’s tourism minister has pledged to “double” fam trip opportunities next year, telling TTG it was vital to the destination to have agents “onside”.

William Rodriguez said the trade was “so important” to Costa Rica, before highlighting the extensive destination training agents can access via its Pura Vida University trade portal.

“This year, the number of trips we offered decreased a little compared with 2022, but next year we’re going to double it,” he said. “It’s key to have the trade onside. We do e-learnings and the agents get certification.”

In terms of overall visitor numbers, Costa Rica is currently 1% ahead of its 2019 figures, and Rodriguez is hopeful the country can end the year 2% or 3% above pre-pandemic levels.

Speaking to TTG at WTM London, Rodriguez hailed the resumption of British Airways services this week after it ceased flying to Costa Rica earlier in the year.

This, Rodriguez said, saw the UK fall behind several other European source markets. “British Airways discontinued the flights in April – that massively affected us. The service was working really well for us. The UK was our number one market, but now it’s Germany and France because of the cancelled flights.”

However, British Airways resumed flying to Costa Rica on Thursday (9 November), operating a three-times-weekly service through to March 2024. “We’re trying to convince BA to offer year-round flights,” said Rodriguez. “We appreciate the visitors from this country.”

He continued: “Personally speaking, the UK visitors have some of the best clients that you can have. They want to experience different things, which is important because we offer experiences – not attractions. There are attractions all over the world, but experiences are quite different.”

Rodriguez also noted how four major hotels from Ritz-Carlton, Waldorf Astoria Hotels and Resorts, One&Only, Six Senses and Hampton by Hilton were under construction in the north of Costa Rica.