World Cup tourism promotion push to be like 2006

The tourism industry will be promoting the country heavily at the World Cup soccer championship in Brazil next year.

The Cámera Nacional de Turismo said it wants to expose the country as a world-class tourism destination in a strategy similar to what was done in 2006 during the World cup events in Germany. Seven years ago Costa Rica spent $4.2 million. News files show that $2.7 million was spent on television ads.

The country’s national team has qualified to play in the Brazilian tournament next June.

There also were some newspaper promotions and a booth set up at the main stadium, according to news stories at the time.

The World Cup in 2006 was from June 9 to July 9.

A check of tourism statistics for the period June 2006 showed that German tourism actually dropped when compared to the previous year. The Germans, it seems, stayed home to watch the World Cup. In June 2005 there were 1,841 German tourists visiting Costa Rica, based on statistics from the Dirección General de Migración y Extranjería.

The next year, the year of the World Cup, there were 1,650. There was a similar drop in July. That month is 2005 3,156 Germans came to visit. In 2006, the number was 2,867.

There was not a lot of difference for the entire year. In 2005, the country hosted 38,523, said the immigration statistics. In 2006 the number was 37,847.

However, visitors from all of Europe were up slightly in 2006. In 2005 there were 232,889 European tourists. In 2006 there were 234,681. The promotion might have had an effect in 2007 when 271,631 Europeans including 40,295 Germans visited the country. That is 1,112 more Germans than in 2005.

The tourism chamber also expects that local travel agencies will benefit from the World Cup because Costa Ricans will be going to Brazil. In 2006, the chamber said, 2,373 Costa Ricans went to Germany. The expectation net year is that many more will go to Brazil

A.M. Costa Rica published an editorial critical of the promotional expenses for the World Cup in Germany and said that “We suspect the money was spent so assorted public officials would have an excuse to attend the World Cup opening game of Costa Rica against Germany.”

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