Increase in private flights to Guanacaste boosts tourism with high purchasing power
QCOSTARICA – The number of private flights to Costa Rica continues to grow and Guanacaste has become an important destination for this new air market.
Proof of this is the Guanacaste Airport (LIR), in Liberia, which in the first months of this year private flights from as far as Oceania, the first from Australia, followed up with the second from New Zealand.
These are flights that on average take 14 hours, non-stop, to reach Costa Rica, which are now in the country’s history of aeronautics.
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According to César Jaramillo, manager of the Guanacaste airport, the number of private flights that arrived at Liberia increased by almost 300% during 2022 and it is expected that this figure can triple in the coming years.
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“An executive aviation passenger normally spends more and promotes important businesses and investments in the country. For this reason, more than the absolute number of travelers, it is highly desirable to continue promoting this market, which in no way diminishes the already rapid growth of normal commercial flights, nor the market for cargo,” said Jaramillo.
Despite the fact that this type of flight has gained prominence with arrivals from other continents, in the case of Guanacaste Airport, the majority comes from North America.
For this reason, the airport announced at the end of last year that it will begin the construction of a new terminal for these private jets, which will receive VIP treatment and multiple services.
“The greatest demand is due to the fact that in the area there are lodging and care services suitable for this type of traveler. Guanacaste Airport is the engine of development in the region and with the increase in private flights, the gross value of the region’s production has also increased, as well as retail sales and more employment,” explained the airport manager.
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The investment that the airport will make for the new terminal, which could be up to US$2 million, is driven by the construction of hotel megaprojects in Guanacaste that expand the offer of luxury accommodation for tourists with great purchasing power.
Ritz-Carlton, Six Senses, One & Only and the Waldorf Astoria are some of the luxury hotels that are advancing in the province and attracting the attention of guests from abroad.
“The demand for the executive aviation service has increased a lot, as was expected from the end of last year to this date. It is possible that it will remain at levels three times higher than the 2021-2022 average,” added Jaramillo.
The high tourist season is an opportune moment for the arrival of more private jets that travel directly to the Guanacaste Airport with the intention of enjoying the natural beauties that the Guanacaste province offers.
This luxury tourism segment would bring benefits to different economic and social sectors, injecting investment into the country and reducing dependence on a single aviation market.