Business, health and education gain ground
Tourism to Costa Rica continues to grow, but it is also diversifying. It is no longer just tourists who come to enjoy the natural beauties of Costa Rica.
A growing number of foreigners come on business trips, need health treatments or study in the country.
In the last 12 months, revenues from tourist activities reached 3.6 billion dollars, 16% more than in the same period in 2015.
Of the total amount, conventional tourism continues to be the one that contributes the largest slice, 64%. But other categories have gained weight, and business already represents 15% of the total, health 13% and education 8%.
Take medical tourism, for example. It is not only the American patient who is going to have cosmetic surgery in Costa Rica. There are now U.S. companies that have their employees operated on in Costa Rica.
Patients that come from the United States, Canada, Central America, the Caribbean, Europe, and Asia choose Costa Rica because of its location, security, political stability, and highly trained professionals.
As for the education sector, Costa Rica is the number one destination in America for students coming from the United States. 9.300 American university students chose Costa Rica in 2015 as an education destination.
The University of Costa Rica (UCR) receives about 300 foreign students per year, the National University (UNA) about 200.
In private universities foreign students study Medicine, Nursing, Physiotherapy, among others.