Last year proved to be a record year for inbound tourism to Costa Rica with revenue from tourism up by nine per cent - an increase of approximately three times that of the country’s GDP which was up by 2.8 per cent.
International tourist numbers hit an all-time high, with 2,665,608 visitors arriving in 2015 through all ports of entry - an increase of 5.5 per cent on 2014.
Those travelling by air totalled 1,858,965 – a year on year increase of eight per cent.
There were 49,499 visitors from the UK in 2015 – an increase of 20.1 per cent on 2014 – the highest rise of all European markets (with France coming in second with an increase of 10.2 per cent).
In other markets, for the first time, more than one million visitors were recorded as coming from the United States.
ICT - the Costa Rica Tourism Board - is predicting further growth this year, following the introduction of new direct flights from British Airways from London Gatwick San Jose in April which will make the Central American destination more accessible than ever.
The BA Boeing 777 flight, which launches on April 27th 2016, will depart twice weekly during summer and three times a week throughout the winter.
Mauricio Ventura, Costa Rica minister of tourism, said: “Last year represented an exceptional year for Costa Rica’s tourism industry with figures exceeding records from all previous years and we expect to see continued growth in 2016, particularly from the UK.
“The new direct flight from BA is a fantastic opportunity for Costa Rica and demonstrates the airline’s confidence in our country as an exciting, thriving tourist destination with much to offer the British tourist.”
Despite being relatively compact, Costa Rica is one of the most diverse countries in the world and is known for its natural beauty.