Costa Rica Most Expensive Destination In Central America


The World Economic Forum’s Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index 2015 named Costa Rica the most expensive destination in Central America.

Panama was the second most expensive destination in Central America, followed by Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras, and El Salvador.

The rankings attest to the age-old adage that the most expensive option isn’t always the best option.

When it came to overall competitiveness in the travel and tourism industry, Costa Rica ranked 42nd, eight sports behind Panama, despite being the cheaper of the two countries. Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, and Nicaragua ranked 80th, 90th, 91st, and 92nd respectively.

In all of Latin America, the only countries other than Panama to score better than Costa Rica were Brazil (28th) and Mexico (30th).

Costa Rica did manage to outscore Panama (and the United States) in one category: safety.

It wasn’t all bad news though, as the report and the latest Costa Rica tourism numbers paint a largely positive outlook.

In 2014, a total of 2,526,817 international arrivals were registered in Costa Rica, according to Costa Rica’s Tourism Board. The increase represents an increase of 4.1% from 2013, the highest number of arrivals since 2008. Costa Rica’s tourism officials reported revenues from tourism last year totaled US$2.6 billion, an 8.3% increase from the US$2.4 billion in 2013, according to figures from the Central Bank.

The report ranks travel and tourism competitiveness for 141 countries on dozens of indicators pertaining to things like business environment, safety and security, labor conditions, government policy, price competitiveness, infrastructure, natural resources, cultural resources, and business travel.

The Top 20 Destinations For Competitiveness In Travel And Tourism In 2015

  1. Spain
  2. France
  3. Germany
  4. United States
  5. U.K.
  6. Switzerland
  7. Australia
  8. Italy
  9. Japan
  10. Canada
  11. Singapore
  12. Austria
  13. Hong Kong
  14. Netherlands
  15. Portugal
  16. New Zealand
  17. China
  18. Iceland
  19. Ireland
  20. Norway



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