Costa Rica joins with other nations in regional tourism campaign

Costa Rica is embarking in a regional marketing campaign to spike tourism numbers within Central America. Leaders from the Instituto Costarricense de Turismo and the Cámara Nacional de Turismo, unveiled the three-week series of ads and discount packages, entitled Descubre Centroamérica.

Danito Correa, the region’s commercial director at Avianca Airlines, was also on hand to discuss the $200,000 campaign that started Monday and will continue until May 15. Central American governments joined Avianca to pay for the project.

The airline company is sponsoring the travel deals and has $250 flights with more than 20,000 available seats.

Correa said the airline is interested in offering prospective passengers with the chance to see Central America’s diverse set of sights and experiences. He added that the company is excited to help boost the region’s tourism, which grew by more than 4 percent last year.

“We firmly believe this is an important action that will stimulate tourism and contribute to the development of one of the most important sectors of this region’s economy,” he said.

Isabel Vargas, president of the Camara Nacional de Turismo, said the chamber has worked with both private and public sectors to ensure the success of  Descubre Centroamérica. She said the country strives to be a destination that leads the way for the region’s tourism market, while mutually benefitting the other countries.

“Central America has a wide range of natural and cultural wonders,” Ms. Vargas said. “Each country offers a unique ingredient that makes it attractive for tourism, so it is valuable to encourage more Central Americans to visit our country.”

She said the country is interested in opening doors to South American markets as well to bring in a consistent stream of travelers from places like Argentina and Brazil.

The tourism institute’s marketing director, Viviana Rudin, said this activity coordinated between neighboring countries represents an important step for Costa Rica to reinforce its position as one of Central America’s most notable and reliable tourist attractions.

After the press conference Ms. Rudin said the ads would be published through both web and radio media outlets. Each country’s tourism ministry worked with Avianca to create the ad series, she said.

This is the third straight year for the campaign series that also includes Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Panamá. Travel bookings made during the period are valid from May 1 until June 20.

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