Cuba & Costa Rica Blog
About this blog
Written by Cuba and Costa Rica expert Christopher P. Baker, this blog will update readers on life in these two diverse and exciting countries.
- Last blog post on Costa Rica and Cuba
- First-ever group motorcycle tours of Cuba successful
- Cuba’s Mariel port readying for Panama Canal expansion
- Musings on wildlife encounters on Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula
- Cuba’s Steam Trains puffing their last gasp
- My top five thrilling activities in Costa Rica
- Cuba’s fun February festivals include Harleys, Books, Cigars
- Five top volcano viewing experiences in Costa Rica
- New road along Costa Rica / Nicaraguan border mired
- Cuba’s Hotel Campoamor at Cojímar to be restored?
- Cuban revolutionary Celia Sánchez honored in new book
- Christmas challenge for Costa Rica’s sexually abused girls
- Costa Rica opens Chinatown in downtown San José
- David Soul films Hemingway’s car restoration in Cuba
- National Geographic Expeditions receives license for Cuba tours
Costa Rica ranked first in Latin America as a tourist destination
Way to go! Costa Rica was recently ranked number one destination in Latin America by the World Economic Forum's annual travel competitiveness report which indexes 133 countries according to their business environment and infrastructure; cultural, human, and natural resources; and their regulatory framework.
Costa Rica, which moved up two places to 42nd place overall this year, also ranked sixth in the world for its biodiversity and protected areas... tenth for the government's prioritization of tourism... nineteenth in effectiveness at branding and marketing... and twenty-second in expenditure on travel and tourism. It also ranked first in all the Americas (yes, even outplacing Canada and the United States) for "human, cultural, and natural resources." Not bad for a country that occupies far less than one percent of the earth's land mass.
A key component to Costa Rica's success has been its Certification for Sustainable Tourism program (more about this in a later blog post), a governmental program that seeks to sponsor sound tourism practices among hotels and tourism providers. The CST program was recently recognized by the United Nations World Tourism Organization as the model for sustainable tourism in Latin America.
Notes the report: "Given the importance of the natural environment for the county’s tourism industry, it is notable that [Costa Rica] ranks a high 27th overall for environmental sustainability, an area of measurable improvement since last year."
Of course, even paradise has its faults, namely: "Safety and security remains a concern (72nd). Further, although its tourism infrastructure is well developed (33rd), with a strong presence of major car rental companies and abundant hotel rooms, ground transport infrastructure requires significant upgrading (103rd), particularly roads and ports, making travel in the country somewhat difficult."
And which countries did the report name top dogs? Switzerland... Austria... Germany... France... Canada... Spain... Sweden... United States... Australia... and Singapore... in that order.
Way to go Costa Rica!