Costa Rica Eyes Traveler Influx From The Middle East

Costa Rica is targeting major growth in tourist arrivals from the Middle East. As the country looks to rebuild inbound traffic, it is targeting the region in 2022 for travelers. With its diverse landscape, Costa Rica offers some of the most stunning biodiversity in the world.

Traffic into Costa Rica has traditionally come from Latin America and the US, with the Middle East being a newer market. Photo: Getty Images


According to Wam, Costa Rica hopes to see more passengers from the Middle East as it plans its post-COVID recovery. The announcement comes from the country’s Vice President, Epsy Campbell Barr during Dubai EXPO 2020’s Global Goal’s Week. Traffic remains well below pre-COVID levels as traditional markets struggle.

However, Costa Rica is relying heavily on its landscape to attract travelers. Home to 6.5% of the earth’s biodiversity, the Central American country features lakes, rivers, volcanoes, mountains, and coastlines. If you love the outdoors, you’re certain to find your match in the nation.

Costa Rica Beach
With great weather and a beautiful coastline, Costa Rica has the potential to be a major tourism hub. Photo: Rob Stoeltje via Wikimedia Commons

In a statement, Vice President Barr said,

“Last year, we started the recovery of the tourism sector because we feel that we managed the pandemic well. We expect that this year and the next, we can achieve again our goals in terms of visitors to Costa Rica. We invite people from here [the UAE and the region] to visit our country…We know that the pandemic has a big impact on tourism all over the world, but we deal with that with a lot of proposals to invite people to come to our country.”

Emirates jumping in

Following a state visit by Costa Rica’s President in December, Emirates announced plans to promote Costa Rican tourism. While the Dubai-based carrier does not fly directly to the nation yet, it will provide connectivity through codeshare partner Avianca and offer holiday deals to passengers.

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Today, passengers can fly to Costa Rica through the US, Europe, and Latin America. From the US, all major airlines provide connections out of gateways such as Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Houston, Atlanta, New York, and more. Mainline European carriers like British Airways, Lufthansa, SWISS, Iberia, and others offer direct connections too, boosting availability.

Emirates does not serve Costa Rica yet but has the chance to become the first Middle Eastern airline to do so. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

Domestic airlines like Aviana Costa Rica, Sansa Airlines, Volaris’ local arm, and others provide connections within the continent as well. As Emirates offers connections through a hub in Bogota, more passengers will be hoping for good timings on the long trip.


Costa Rica reopened to tourists early on in the pandemic. Travelers from the US were allowed in September 2020, and today, passengers from all countries may enter. Restrictions are light, with no proof of a negative test required for travel, but vaccination is needed to enter most establishments. The country is currently battling a wave of cases due to the omicron variant, so travel could be subdued temporarily.

For now, keep an eye out for Costa Rica on your next trip!

What do you think about Costa Rica’s tourism push? Let us know in the comments!

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