The Costa Rican Institute for Tourism promotes tourism using the apt slogan "Costa Rica, No Artificial Ingredients." This small country of four million inhabitants annually hosts two million foreign visitors with the enchantment of beaches, cloud forests, national parks, surfing, rafting, volcanoes, rivers and waterfalls, its incredible diversity of flora and fauna. Some visitors, delighted with the nation's people, culture, and natural wonders, come back permanently to make their lives here.
Costa Rica's main economic activity is now tourism, with the number of visitors, increasing annually at a rate of 12 to 15%. The Institute of Tourism is forecasting a shortage of accommodations to house the visitors. In the high period, December to March, occupancy in many locations approaches 100%.
The Institute of Tourism actively promotes the concept of Sustainable Tourism, striving to enhance tourism while respecting the natural environment and promoting community development. Nevertheless, in recent years there has been a proliferation of mega-tourism projects, especially in the Northwest Pacific beach areas, with negative consequences for the environment and little benefit to the local community apart from low wage service employment. Still, the bulk of tourist traffic is lodged in locally owned small hotels, B and Bs, and even rustic accommodations in the jungle or in struggling rural cooperatives. (For rural tourism see See our Relocation and Vacation Tours)
Investments and Properties El Tucan does not work with big international hotel chains or any type of mega-project. We do work with enterprising persons with modest means to establish an eco-tourism project in locations with exotic attractions or to take over a B and B or hotel. Investment opportunities for turn-key businesses range from a nine bedroom B and B in the mountains just outside San Jose at $380,000 to a luxurious international restaurant and conference center with lodging and an approved Master Plan for a hotel near the airport at $3.5 million. Good locations to develop an eco-tourism project include a 630 acre cloud forest property with three rivers and four waterfalls just outside the city of San Ramon, at $1.5 million. We list several volcanic hot springs properties for Spa development. There are many smaller and less expensive locations excellent for eco-tourism. To see properties go to Search Listings and use the text/keyword search box at the bottom (for example: 'Tourism Property'), you can also refine the search using the location and price range options. For a printable list in Word format email Dale at email@example.com
General information on tourism can be viewed at the website of The Institute for Tourism, ICT Tourism Info
There are incentives to invest in tourism, including a path to residency for foreigners. Download the PDF file here: Incentive Law 8436
To find out about other types of business investments please click Commercial and Industrial Property. And for more information on the services we provide to investors please see our Full Service Program For Clients.
For investments in residential development or agriculture - including bio-fuels, grains, forest conservation and timber - please view our page on: Costa Rica Investments. Or click here to return to the Business Opportunities index.