Regional destinations ahead in Costa Rica’s recovery
As Latin American countries begin to emerge from COVID-19 isolation, new trends in hotel performance have emerged, suggesting a clear preference for regional destinations. Costa Rica has been no exception.
On 1 August, Costa Rica opened its boarders to permit entry from the Schengen Area as well as the United Kingdom and Canada. In September, hotels in the country registered their highest occupancy level since March (15.0%). That slight pickup in occupancy was thanks in part to an ease of restrictions—that trend is expected to continue through the following month’s data provided the COVID-19 situation remains stable.
Costa Rica’s regional destinations led the earliest stage of recovery in the country thanks to the demand of national tourists. In September, the Regional Costa Rica market, as defined by STR, saw its highest occupancy level (28.7%) since isolation began on 18 March. For comparison that same month, San Jose posted an occupancy level of just 7.0% occupancy, also its highest level since March.
Most hotels will come back online in the next two months after the country reopened to international travelers. Although there are many uncertainties, domestic business demand may have returned while international and group demand are unlikely to return soon as controls over movement of people remain in place. As noted, preference for regional markets continue to be higher than urban markets. However, any new restrictions due to increased COVID-19 cases will continue to impact performance in countries around the globe.