Studies Show That the Costa Rican Economy is Significantly and Positively Impacted by Tourism Centered Around Sport Fishing
Sport fishing has long been a significant reason for tourists to visit Costa Rica, but until the Billfish Foundation did a study in 2008, no one really knew just how big of an impact sport fishing had on the economy.
During 2005 and 2006 the Billfish Foundation conducted an investigation in Cabo San Lucas Mexico, to find out how sport fishing contributed to the Economy in the area. A number of people who were interviewed mentioned Costa Rica as a place they would be interested to visiting for sport fishing.
As a result, two years later, the University of Costa Rica and the Billfish Foundation joined forces and conducted a similar study in Costa Rica; this study was the first of its kind ever to be conducted in the country.
Some interesting conclusions came from the research.
It is approximated that 271,200 US citizens came to Costa Rica in 2009 exclusively to practice fishing and an estimated $128.7 million in tourism revenue was generated that year, possibly as a result.
An analysis of the commercial fishing impact on the economy was also done, showing that commercial fishing had less of an impact on the economy than sport fishing. The study showed that in 2008, sport fishing generated $599 million in revenue, which represented 2.13% of the gross national product (GNP). When compared to commercial fishing at just $527.8 million, sport fishing won out in its economic impact by $70 million.
During the study, tourists from the United States were interviewed as they arrived at Juan Santamaria International Airport, as well as the Daniel Oduber International Airport; interviews showed that of the fishermen visiting from the US, 3.5% had been fishing in Costa Rica previously. The study also showed that an estimated 271,200 US citizens visited Costa Rica in 2009 and spent a total of $128.7 million during that year.
Costa Rica is ranked 7th in all of the countries that North Americans choose to go fishing. Ahead of Costa Rica are Canada, Mexico, and a few different islands in the Caribbean and the Bahamas.