- Category: Business
- Published on Wednesday, March 02 2011 05:53
- Written by Rod Hughes
- Hits: 1015
Although this country's tourism is predicted to continue to grow until at least 2014, the industry's contribution to the economy is expected to shrink in comparison to other sources of foreign exchange.
This prognosis comes from the "Costa Rican Tourism Report Q1 2011" summarized recently by the BusinessWire blog in a story datelined Dublin. (Complete report available at http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/e33ad4/costa_rica-tourism )
The report predicts that the industry, which provided the country with 7.1% of its Gross Domestic Product in 2009, will shrink to just 4.6% of GDP in 2014. (At one time, tourism was the country's number one dollar-earner before electronics and medical equipment replaced it as top exporter.)
However, sheer raw numbers of arrivals are expected to continue to expand, from 2.29 million in 2009 to 3.14 million in 2014, the end of the surveyed period, Chief drivers will continue to be medical tourism and eco-tourism, the report predicts.
Costa Rica has 32 national parks, eight biological reserves, 13 forest reserves and 51 wildlife refuges and its management of those areas is improving yearly, despite budget restrictions and sometimes lack of development oversight.
Moreover, bilingual medical facilities are being rapidly developed and improved. As costs of health care in the United States and other developed nations continue to rise, the country is attracting ever-increasing fame for reasonably-priced treatment, allied with the irresistible combination of a world-class ambiance in which to recuperate.
The industry took a hit from the world economic decline, including the cost of jet fuel from soaring petroleum prices. Recent unrest in the Middle East, the price per barrel of oil again hitting $100, adds another element of uncertainty.
(CANATUR, the national tourism chamber, notes that last year tourism grew 9.2%, recouping much of the ground it lost during the world economic crisis. However, in a chamber survey of the industry, private enterprise complains it is still being hurt by the Central Bank's allowing the colon to gain value, raising prices in colon terms and often shortening vacation times and tourist spending.
Operators also complained that the severe rainy season damaged roads and bridges, calling for increased government spending to restore them.)
Anaylisis: We here at fijatevos.com feel honor-bound as journalists to report surveys from all sources. We do not doubt the expertise contained in this report, being drawn from industry professionals and strategies, corporate analysts, tourism associates, governmental and regulatory bodies, etc.
But we caution the reader to investigate thoroughly, using a number different sources, before investing or rejecting an investment based on one source. These predictions are subject to the winds of change.
One should keep in mind that the housing boom in the U.S. was clearly a bubble but few analysts identified it as such and none predicted that its collapse would lead to a Wall Street meltdown or that this in turn would lead to a distressed world economy.