2020 and 2021 were very challenging years for the global economy, especially for the hospitality and tourism industry. In Costa Rica, as well as around the world, the locks down caused by COVID-19 caused a slowdown in the economy, which is still having its effects.

In this report, we will take as an example one of the main economic activities in Costa Rica, which is tourism. In addition, we will see how the outlook has been improving in recent months, this after the government’s actions to reinforce up to the third dose of vaccination in the population, which has allowed many of the prevention measures adopted in 2020 to be eliminated so that the population can return to a life more similar to the one lived before the pandemic.

The arrival of COVID-19 in the country

At the end of February 2020 with the arrival of the first cases of COVID-19, the government began to take action, since based on what had been seen in Italy it was necessary to take the necessary precautions, this led to the lock-down of all tourist activities in the country, in addition from other countries such as the USA all flights were canceled.

In the following graph, we can see how the word “Visit Costa Rica” plummeted at the end of February 2020, since then and until September of the same year, the interest in visiting the country was almost null, mainly due to the restriction of entry of people to the country.

Recovery of the tourism and hospitality industry

The year 2021 was a year of progress in the fight against COVID-19 after the vaccine was enabled for all people in the country, in the middle of the year the different tourist destinations began to reopen.

By December 2021, most establishments and tourist attractions were back to normal, complying with the hygiene and prevention standards established by the government, including the mandatory use of masks and handwashing.

In the following graph, we can see how the search interest in Google for the word “Visit Costa Rica” has recovered almost 100%. This is due to the fact that the country has lifted almost all the restrictions that had been in place for 2 years; currently, the only restrictions that remain are handwashing and the use of masks.

The countries from which there have been the most searches are the USA and Canada.

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