Hotel numbers were less than expected

Hotel owners are disappointed with midyear reports that show lagging business numbers. Occupancy rates were just below 58 percent, according to a report by the country’s tourism chamber, falling well beneath the stated goal of 67 percent for the midyear vacation period.

A majority of hoteliers said the recent World Cup negatively affected the influx of business because regional tourism demand was centered in Brazil. And considering Costa Rica’s surprising success, tourism chamber President Pablo Heriberto Abarca said the June and July months were low because residents were kept busy watching the games and spending their money elsewhere.

“Costa Ricans opted more towards acquiring services to boost other areas of commerce rather than enjoying the break and going on vacation,” Abarca said. “Also the success of Costa Rica meant that the country was in watching mode, and this run of theirs consumed half the holiday period.”

The chamber’s report polled 115 lodging companies in different sections of Costa Rica, which makes up for around 4,000 hotel rooms total.  The chamber, the Cámera Nacional de Turismo, does such surveys periodically.

Hotels in the northern plains region of the country boasted the best rate of occupancy with nearly 72 percent of rooms surveyed being filled. At 50 percent, the South Pacific came away with the report’s lowest rate.

“It’s clear that Costa Ricans didn’t vacation as much as the hotels were expecting,” Abarca said. “This period coincides with an increase in non-residential tourists, which explains why we see bigger occupations in zones like La Fortuna and in city hotels.”

Abarca added that there are a slew of discounts and package deals available this time of year through hotels that people should take advantage of. And with Costa Rican Mother’s Day Aug. 15 making another three-day break, hotels are coming up with additional offers.

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