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INSIDECOSTARICA.COM | DID YOU KNOW?  |  Friday 25 February 2011

Costa Rica And Brazil Sign Tourism Co-operation Agreement

Costa Rican and Brazil have signed an agreement to boost tourism. The agreement allows Brazilian and Costa Rican airlines* to fly to and from Costa Rica, including making stops in other countries to pick and drop off tourists.

According to Costa Rica's Tourism minister, Carlos Ricardo Benavides, this is a big boost to Costa Rica's tourism industry, Brazil being one of the markets with growth even during the global economic crisis.

The initiative is called "cielos abiertos" (open skies). And although aviation and immigration laws in each country stand as is, flying to and from Costa Rica and Brazil is being made easier by the agreement.

Also, Brazil is host to the 2014 Olympic games and this could be a boost to Costa Rica's tourism industry.

The Instituto Costarricense de Turismo (ICT) - Costa Rica's tourism board - said that though the agreement must be ratified by the congresses of both countries the benefits of the pact will apply immediately.

*Though many believe TACA is a Costa Rican airline, it is not.  TACA is El Salvador's flag carrier.

TACA is the trade name "brand" comprising a group of five independently IATA - coded and - owned Central American airlines, whose operations are combined to function as one and a number of other independently owned and IATA-coded regional airlines which code-share and feed the TACA brand system.

TACA, originally an acronym of Transportes Aéreos Centroamericanos (Central American Air Transport), now stands for Transportes Aéreos del Continente Americano (Air Transport of the American Continent), reflecting its expansion to North, Central, South America and the Caribbean.

It flies to 44 destinations in 22 different countries. In 2009 TACA received three Skytrax World Airline Awards crowning the airline as "Best Airline in Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean", "Best Crew in Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean", "Best Regional Airline in Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean".

The five airlines are:

- TACA International (TA) (El Salvador)

- Aviateca (GU) (Guatemala)
   - Regional (GU) - Formerly Inter, it operates under Aviateca's code.

- LACSA (LR) (Costa Rica)  Lacsa is the only airline of the group that still operates international flights with its own flight numbers. Its hub is at Juan Santamaría International Airport in San José, Costa Rica.
   -  Regional (RZ) SANSA

- Islena Airlines (WC) (Honduras)

- Nicaragüense de Aviación (6Y) (Nicaragua)
   - Regional - La Costeña
- TACA Perú (T0) (Peru) is now an important part of Grupo TACA.


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