Semana Santa occupancies were less than expected

Hotel occupancy over Semana Santa was 72 percent, below what tourism operators had predicted. Still, some 73 percent of the 147 firms contacted in a survey said the demand was good or very good, said the Cámera Nacional de Turismo.

Puntarenas seemed to have the highest occupancy. The tourism chamber calculated this to be 86 percent over the period April 11 to April 20.

Much of the business came from foreigners because the survey also showed that the average occupancy by Costa Ricans was just  42.6 percent throughout the country. Typically, Costa Ricans either visit relatives on the coasts during the week-long holiday or they simply set up tents on the beach.

Semana Santa is a major vacation period rivaled only by the Christmas season for tourism operators. Previous holiday seasons  have had higher occupancy, and tourism operators are expected to seek some concession from Luis Guillermo Solís after he takes office Thursday.

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