Costa Rica Ranks as Most Expensive Central American Destination

According to the World Economic Forum’s Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index 2015, Costa Rica is now the most expensive destination in Central America. The report, which was released in May, revealed that the country also boasts one of the best values in the region. Ranking 42nd in the world, Costa Rica came out ahead of both Mexico and Panama.

Among the reasons contributing to Costa Rica’s ranking were its natural resources, business environment, and security. Recently, there have been some concerns from residents of Costa Rica regarding the encroachment of neighboring countries on Costa Rica’s tourism industry, most notably Nicaragua. According to the WEF report; however, other countries have a long way to go before they might outrank Costa Rica.

Areas in Need of Improvement
The report also pointed out that while Costa Rica certainly has a number of strengths, there are areas of weakness that should be addressed in the future, including infrastructure and price competitiveness. Currently, Costa Rica is ranked as the most expensive destination in Central America and is only the most expensive of a total of six countries surveyed in the Caribbean and North America. Costa Rica ranked only slightly better in terms of cost as a destination than the United States.

Other areas of concern in Costa Rica include its port and ground infrastructure, both of which were ranked as the second worst in the Caribbean and North America. Costa Rica ranked only slightly ahead of Haiti. Compared to the rest of the country’s competitors in the Central American region, Costa Rica’s airport infrastructure fared quite well, although still falls behind destinations in the Caribbean and Mexico, including Barbados, Tobago, and Trinidad.

Costa Rica Performs Well in Tourism Services
Despite the fact that Costa Rica appears to have a way to go in terms of physical infrastructure, the country was demonstrated to be doing quite well in tourism services, ranking fifth best in the local region. Overall, the local region performed quite poorly in regards to promotion of cultural resources. According to the WEF report, many neighboring countries tend to rely too heavily on their wildlife and beaches rather than promoting their cultural heritage. Earlier this year, Vice President Ana Helena Chacón issued an executive decree that will result in promoting the country’s cuisine as a means for attracting foodies to Costa Rica.

Ranking at the top of the 2015 list was Spain, followed by France, Germany, the United States, and the United Kingdom. Angola, Guinea, and Chad received the lowest scores.

James Drews

James Drews

Vice President, Sales. Age 43 Prior to co-founding VESTA GROUP, James moved to Costa Rica in 1996 and began his real estate career here by co-founding Dominical Realty. In 2001, the company obtained a Coldwell Banker independent franchise, and three years later partnered with another Coldwell Banker franchise in Costa Rica to become Vesta Group, the Master-Franchise-holder for the entire country. As a member of the Global Association of Realtors and the U.S.-based National Association of Realtors, the Master Franchise has already grown to ten (10) offices throughout the country, with several more currently in process. James is married to a Costa Rican, and proud father of 3 daughters ages 7,10, and 20. James, is well respected among the local and foreign community, and carries high ethical standards, and a hard working family man that seeks to provide his customers with the best level of service possible. James goes out of his way to seek out new frontiers that are ahead of the wave, and specializes in rural and remote farmland, developing land and collecting legacy type of properties. Surfing big waves, fishing, hiking, and travel are favorite pastimes. Daily goal is a new discovery. Approaching 20 years of living in Costa Rica, James knows his territory well, and has much love for his new country and it's people, and will guide you well, and share his resources and local knowle​d​ge with you to make your new venture successful.​ ​