May 22, 2017
You don't need an umbrella in a rain forest, and you won't need one if you're planning a meeting or incentive program in Costa Rica, either. The country has it covered for you.

During a meeting at Expotur, Costa Rica's largest annual travel and tourism marketplace, Minister of Tourism Mauricio Ventura spoke about the destination's new tourism "umbrellas" -- meetings, incentives and conventions, and wellness. The country is making a concerted effort to augment its already well-established umbrellas of adventure and nature, aiming to attract meetings and incentive programs that are compatible with its sustainability message.   

Costa Rica's new convention center, under construction now in San Jose, represents the "bridge" in the destination's MICE investment strategy. "We're very excited about the convention center and committed to its success," said Ventura. "But it's not an investment that requires an immediate ROI. We are not selling the convention center, we are selling the country. We have high hopes, but we expect it will take a while for good things to happen.

Minister of Tourism Mauricio Ventura
The destination is well positioned now to serve meetings and incentive programs ranging from 50 to 500 delegates. "That's our sweet spot," says Ventura. With average occupancy at approximately 60 percent and annual visitors currently at less than 3 million, the destination has room to grow. Some 4,500 hotel rooms within a 4.3-mile radius of the new convention facility is "enough for now," according to Ventura.
 
Longer-term, the destination continues to invest in its travel infrastructure, with highway construction a constant and a new international airport being planned.
 
It is expected Expotur 2018, to take place next May, will be the first event to be held in the new convention center.