Tourism Expecting Drop during Mid-Year Vacations

Written by Tamarindo News

• World Cup could affect occupancy in mid-year vacations. 
• About five out of ten companies surveyed believe that sporting event could affect the demand for accommodation.
• Expected occupancy is of 67.64 %.

The country’s joy for the success of Costa Rican team in the FIFA World Cup Brazil 2014 and the profits it could bring to many sectors may not be good news for the country’s tourism businesses, who envision a decline in occupation during the mid-year vacations.

The development of this major global soccer competition could affect the demand for smaller accommodation during vacations, according to a study conducted by the National Chamber of Tourism, CANATUR, which indicates that five out of ten companies polled believe the championship to be a factor that will affect hotel occupancy.

The study conducted in the third week of June consulted 115 lodging establishments of all tourist regions and took into account an estimate of 4820 rooms.

The consultation aimed to determine: the factors that pose a threat to achieving greater demand during the mid-year vacations; occupancy expectancy based on an average of reservations already made for the period going from June 27 to July 13.

Based on the main results, 48 % of respondents felt that the World Cup itself could lead to a lower occupancy than the one expected during the mid-year break. And 10.4 % indicated that the recently concluded strike of educators could be the reason to expect lower demand. Just 7 % considered the exchange rate as a factor affecting tourists’ decision making. In addition, 15 % considered other situations such as climate and access to the regions as a point against it, and the remaining 20% ​​did not consider any factor.

“The Soccer World Cup (much) stimulates trade comsiderably; however, employers stress that it can affect the perception of Costa Ricans, since they would opt to watch the games rather than going for vacations,” said Heriberto Pablo Abarca, President of CANATUR.

The chief of the Chamber said that tourist companies should manage attractive strategies and provide facilities for the national tourist to incline for leisure activities during this period. 

67 % of Occupation is Expected

According to the survey, tourist companies expect to achieve an average occupancy of 67.64 % for the mid-year vacations; this behavior would exceed the level reported for the same period in 2013, when 56.36 % was recorded.

“The behavior of the previous year was really low; therefore, we expect to return to what is usual for this period. Costa Ricans have many options for doing tourism in the country; they have beach destinations in the Pacific and the Caribbean, mountain, and adventure and recreation tourism options in general, that could be done in one day,” said Abarca.

Occupancy expectation during mid-year vacations 

Tourist Regions Expectation 
Northern Plains 75,5 %
Puntarenas and Gulf Islands (Monteverde) 74,44 %
Central Pacific 73,75 %
Guanacaste 73,42 %
Southern Pacific 64,71 %
The Caribbean 61,5 %
Central Valley 51,67 %

Source: CANATUR’s survey to 115 lodging companies.


Beach lodging establishments handle the highest level of expectation, since they have registered an average occupancy of 73.45 %, followed by mountain hotels with 66.39 %, and 55.53 % of city hotels. Four  of ten rooms have been reserved.

Just a week away from vacations, the demand for accommodation has not warmed up since the time of the survey. An average of 39.10 % occupancy reserved for the period going from June 27 thru July 13 was reflected.

“The reservation level is low just a week before starting vacations; however, since it is a period mostly fueled by domestic tourists, it is conceivable that reservations will be confirmed at the last minute,” said Heriberto Pablo Abarca, President of CANATUR.

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