TOURISM

Costa Rica 2018 | TOURISM | B2B

Showcasing Costa Rica's authenticity is priority number one in the tourism sector in addition to maintaining sustainable, unique tourism experiences.

Jeff Duchesneau
JEFF DUCHESNEAU
General Director
Marina Pez Vela
Isabel Vargas
ISABEL VARGAS
President
National Chamber of Tourism of Costa Rica (Canatur)

How do you aim to differentiate your tourism service supply?

JEFF DUCHESNEAU Our amenities and infrastructure distinguish Marina Pez Vela from others. It is a world-class marina including the docks themselves, which are all floating concrete docks and the sign of a high-quality marina. They are more expensive to build, but are safe, secure, and more resistant to wear and tear. The buildings were built by Portafolio Inmobiliario. We have six restaurants on site, an Italian ice-cream shop, and 30 tour operators. We have a yacht yard and the only 200-ton travel lift in all of Central America. It is designed to haul out boats safely so we can take these beautiful private vessels out of the water to be repaired and undergo maintenance. There are very few places in Central America that can do that.

ISABEL VARGAS One differentiator we are trying to develop is wellness tourism. The wellness tourism we want to promote in Costa Rica is not the conventional spa concept. We are not looking at hotels with massage offerings, but a comprehensive service to offer a better quality life experience in contact with nature. We want to include not only the medical component but also activities like mountain hiking, yoga in the forest, picking strawberries, and visiting orchards. This lifestyle experience could be a better healing therapy than traditional pharmaceuticals. We want to offer an authentic experience, where visitors can interact with the people of Costa Rica and nature. This approach is related with a third market niche, which is cultural tourism, the one the chamber wants to work on and promote. Cultural tourism is focused not only on rural tourism but also offering the experience of how we live. Wellness tourism is related to cultural tourism since it is people in contact with other people. It is learning how to live, expand your horizons, and more. We want visitors to open their minds to see and feel differently. We want to sell transformative life experiences.

Why should tourists visit and consider becoming tenants at Marina Pez Vela?

JD 25% of Costa Rica's economy is driven by tourism, and nautical tourism is an extension of that. Coming to Marina Pez Vela is to experience the 31 different available activities—onshore or offshore fishing, catamaran cruises, snorkeling, scuba diving, or parasailing to name a few. There is an almost endless amount of tours on offer. Few places in the world have such variety. Number two is the authenticity of the marina and the experience of the town of Quepos, which includes its food, people, and culture. We are also just 8km from Costa Rica's most visited national park, Manuel Antonio. We have different events like the national volleyball tournament, and a boat parade in December in which 6,000 people from all over Costa Rica participate. It has become an amazing water tourism event and, in the span of three years, has been classified as a national cultural event.

Are you more interested in quality or quantity in terms of visitor statistics?

IV Bringing in more tourists to our country means more economic activity is generated, leading to more employment opportunities and greater investment due to larger demand. As we get more visitors, the country will boost its tourism income, economic situation, and social economy. If a new minister changes our development model, this distribution will not happen, and I hope the new minister will maintain the current aspects of the model. We want to have a sustainable tourism model that generates economic and social distribution of wealth. That said, we are not seeking mass tourism. We have more to offer, which is why we have focused our marketing on attracting visitors who stay longer and want to know more about the country. Mobility is relatively easy in Costa Rica.