February 12th, 2013 (InsideCostaRica.com) According to the Costa Rican Tourism Institute (ICT), seven hotel projects currently under construction would increase the number of hotel rooms available in Costa Rica by 1,309 rooms. The projects are planned to open between December of this year and November of 2014.
There has been a marked increase in building permits for hotels for the past two years. The Costa Rican Chamber of Construction said that in 2010, there were the equivalent of 40,288 square meters of hotel build permits presented before the Association of Engineers and Architects. That figure rose to 140,679 m2 in 2011, and fell slightly to 121,699 m2 in 2012.
Taking into account permitting and construction time, the increase in permits should begin to reflect in the market this year.
Hermes Navarro from ICT expressed his optimisim, saying the outlook is very good, and also pointed to the rebound of smaller, boutique hotels with few rooms. “We are pleased, [business] is clearly growing and this is boosting competition,” he said.
However, the president of the Costa Rican Chamber of Hotels, Ruben Pacheco, said that despite the growth in large hotels in the past two years, about 20 small hotels have closed during the same time period.
Alvaro Conejo, president of the Guanacaste Chamber of Tourism, said there has been a strong rebound in the hotel sector in the province.
He added that there is renewed trust by investors for the area, and that between now and 2016, they estimate the sector will add 4,000 new jobs. As a result, Conejo said they are coordinating with the National Training Institute (INA) to provide job training to locals.