The attractiveness of Costa Rica as a venue for international sporting events has grown considerably, even for competitions in which you do not need to be a professional sportsperson. Events such as marathons, triathlons, half Ironman competitions, and golf, surf or sport fishing tournaments are even more common and requested in the country.
Some of these events are certified with the country brand "Essential Costa Rica" to promote themselves inside and outside our borders. "We see that sport is really a decisive element in the visits of tourists, next to the beach, ecotourism, wellness tourism, adventure and culture,” said Mr. Alberto López, general manager of the Costa Rican Institute of Tourism (ICT).
Nowadays, 25% of the tourists that enter the country for personal reasons, indicated that they arrived in Costa Rica for the practice of some sport, according to surveys conducted by the ICT. The sport also constitutes an important complement of the stays in the country, when being offered in tours and Costa Rica vacation packages of trips and tours.
When athletes come exclusively to compete in the tournaments organized in the country, these serve as hooks for a second visit, explained the ICT general manager. The 40% of tourists who arrive in Costa Rica have visited it more than once. This percentage visits the country about seven times on average.
The possibility of holding massive sporting events and achieving such an attraction resides in the international positioning as a brand. Among the favorite sports for foreigners are cycling, golf, athletics, triathlon, surfing, rafting and sport fishing.
The Costa Rica Classic golf tournament, date of the PGA Tour Latin America, is one of the licensed events with the "Essential Costa Rica" brand and is undoubtedly one of the best hooks for potential leisure tourists.
"The PGA has contracts with very important television stations and for each host country produces a 15-minute promotional video, which is undoubtedly an important exhibition at a tourist level," said Maurizio Musmanni, president of the Costa Rican Golf Federation.
The fields in Peninsula de Papagayo, Hacienda Pinilla and Reserva Conchal are true paradises for golfers. "When a tourist comes to play golf, he likes to do it in two or three different types of fields. In Guanacaste there is the peculiarity that it has three excellent courses nearby, "explained Musmanni.
The Half Marathon of San Jose, the cycling tour L'Étape Costa Rica by Le Tour de France, the Ironman 70.3 in the well-known Playa del Coco, and the surf tournament Essential Costa Rica Pro Open, are other events licensed with the country brand.
There are other sport events with international renown such as the Tamarindo Beach Marathon which receives a great amount of international competitors each year in the beautiful Tamarindo Beach as its name indicates it.
Are you a sports fan? If so, you shouldn’t miss the opportunity to compete in this little piece of paradise called Costa Rica! Leave us a comment if you want more information or if you need us to assist you in the preparation of your next holidays, we will be more than glad to be your partner in Costa Rica. Do not hesitate to contact us!