Friday, December 23, 2011

Costa Rica – Best Country “Brand” in Latin America

For natural beauty, welcoming nature, devotion to peace, democracy, authenticity, quality of life……

Future Brand, a British company, publishes the The Country Brand Index on an annual basis, and uses its own methodology to determine the value of many countries as a brand. The values are based on a wide number of factors including natural features, culture, business environment, quality of life of its residents, and others.The current index was revealed on November 12, 2011.

This past year, Costa Rica improved in the world rankings, to 24th best overall. This placed it highest of all Latin American countries on the global list. Best known for its "No Artificial Ingredients" campaign, Costa Rica has had a national priority to promote the country's image as a protector of its natural wealth.

Costa Rica’s tourism brand is ranked just above that of countries such as Brazil, Argentina, and Chile. The report states, "A strong country brand is more than the sum of its attributes; it must make people's lives better from the progressive policies, to freedom of expression and openness. It must call people around the world to visit that country, to do business, and make a living there.”

To provide the basis for the study’s conclusions over 3500 interviews were conducted between July and September, 2011, involving tourists from more than 14 regions of the world. The study has published the country brand evaluations since 2004.

Globally, Costa Rica is ranked 24th, out of 113 surveyed countries. In Latin America, it is followed by Brazil (31st), Argentina (32nd), Chile (34th), Peru (44th), Mexico (47th) and Uruguay (50th).

The full analysis and a downloadable pdf is available at Future Brand.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Let's "Talk Turkey" About Costa Rica and You in 2012!

As families gather together for the long Thanksgiving Weekend in the United States, or for any reason elsewhere in the world, and the discussion turns to what may be ahead for you in 2012, we hope you will consider Costa Rica in your plans. It offers opportunities for anyone considering vacation, investment, retirement, or a change of life. Costa Rica has achieved legendary status as a vacation/adventure paradise, which is often the first step toward involving yourself more deeply in the other dimensions. Will 2012 be the year you try it for the first time, or return to enjoy it again?

Recent headlines about Costa Rica:

The weather is like Hawaii with temperatures never falling below 70F/22C in some parts of the country, especially the northwest Pacific coast.

Known for natural beauty and the “up close” availability of the Earth’s biodiversity, 27% of the country is national park.

The beaches are lovely and varied, and options for ocean sports activities are numerous, including surfing and deep-sea fishing.

In spite of Costa Rica’s popularity with visitors, there are still beaches and natural areas which remain essentially undiscovered, which you may experience in your own way.

80% of Costa Rica’s electricity is generated  from renewable resources.

There are now 2 international airports (San Jose – SJO, and Liberia - LIR) which are both virtually brand-new. There are non-stop flights from cities like Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles which will get you to Costa Rica in approximately 4-5 hours. There are one-stop connections from all over the Western Hemisphere and now parts of Europe.

It is possible to vacation with an active volcano, sunny beach, zip line adventure, and wildlife experiences - all in the same week after arriving at either airport.

The US Dollar and the Costa Rican Colone (coh-loh-nee) are accepted equally throughout the country. Currency exchanges and services can handle all major global currencies.

The Costa Rican economy has been growing steadily during the world financial crisis through diversification into tech fields, medical devices, and global services.

The entire country offers 3G service, and is essentially wi-fied as a result.

International investors are able to control a 100% ownership interest in real estate and corporations with no local participation, and no requirement for residency.

The general property tax rate on real estate is ½ of 1% per year.

The national government has set a national priority to attract foreign retirees to Costa Rica, and simplified some immigration policies to make the transition easier. Retirees may also gain access to the basic level of care in the national health service for as little as $25/month.

Costa Rica’s excellent private health care services and low prices are helping it become a global medical tourism destination - with some of the most beautiful areas in the world in which to recover from procedures.

And there is still much to be done, as Costa Rica takes the last few steps into the realm of 1st world countries. New business opportunities in tourism, investment, and globally-linked services, are still emerging for entrepreneurs.

So, as you may be thinking about your life in 2012, please take a moment to consider, “Do Your Dreams Fit in Costa Rica?”* We will be glad to welcome you here in 2012 to help you decide for yourself. (*Please reply to the sender of this message for a copy of a Power Point slide show with the same name.)

Best Regards,
New Friends You Have Yet to Meet in Costa Rica!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Gleaming New Costa Rica International Airport Terminal Set to Open

This Month: Guanacaste-Bound Travelers to be Met in 21st Century Style! JetBlue Coming, Too!

New Arrivals Area
Airline passengers using Liberia Airport, since it started accepting scheduled international commercial flights in December, 2002, have witnessed an evolving facility that struggled in phases, from a single structure to a collection of open-air sheds, fashioned together to handle exploding volumes of visitors. The experience was part of the charm of Guanacaste, knowing you had arrived in a new resort area that suddenly had been discovered by the world. Well the "charm" of the past experience is about to give way to a brand-new, 23,000 square meter, air-conditioned terminal opening officially on November 17, 2011.

Check In Area
The new, $41 million terminal, developed by Coriport SA, will include 30 new check-in counters, a Britt store, a jewelry store and oak art gallery, a developer showroom for premier projects, a mini-market, a Lafise bank kiosk, and a currency exchange. Departing passengers will be be screened at a new security checkpoint using advanced equipment like state-of-the-art X-ray machines and metal detectors.

2 Story Spaces
JetBlue, low fare carrier with hubs in Orlando and New York, is starting service to Liberia, Costa Rica, that coincides with the opening of the new terminal. They have already precipitated an airfare price war from the New York area among major carriers to Liberia, including United/Continental, Delta, and American.

Baggage Claim Area

Nothing speaks louder than these images, especially for those of us who have been using this terminal since late 2002. We thank the LIR Airport Facebook page for the images of the new terminal and for making them available to the public.

Come to Costa Rica for vacation, investment, retirement, or to just change your life

Jetways, too
Passenger Gate Areas

Sunday, July 10, 2011

New Liberia, Costa Rica, International Airport Arrives Soon! jetBlue, too!

In December, 2002 Daniel Oduber Airport in Liberia, Costa Rica, received its first scheduled international flight. Delta Airlines was given an incentive by local resorts to “test” the market for international travelers wanting to arrive 1 hour from Costa Rica’s North Pacific beaches in the Guanacaste province. Previously, the only international airport in the country was the capital, San Jose, and Guanacaste-bound travelers faced a 5+hour drive to its beautiful beaches, new resorts, Costa Rica vacation rentals, and attractive Costa Rica real estate investments.
< Guanacaste beaches are among Costa Rica's best!
That first flight from Atlanta opened the door to a new global vacation and investment destination, and the Liberia Airport schedule has steadily grown to over 60 weekly flights from the United States, Canada, Europe, and soon, other Latin American countries. Over 500,000 passengers will arrive at Liberia in 2011, and the volume trend is upward.

Existing terminal being replaced..... Your vacation could look like this!
The most recent airline to add Guanacaste, Costa Rica to their schedule is jetBlue. They will begin a non-stop flight from JFK in New York to Liberia on November 17th, departing 4 times per week. This news is particularly exciting for travelers to Guanacaste, because of jetBlue’s low-fare approach. They are celebrating this new route by offering a base fare well below market averages, and a very special base fare for all purchases made by July 15, 2011. (Restrictions and fees apply)

Now, the brand new Liberia international Airport terminal is nearing completion, too. After 9 years of passing through a growing succession of open-air sheds and shelters, travelers bound for North Pacific beaches, resorts, or Costa Rica vacation rentals, will enjoy a 21st-century airport experience as soon as they land. These pictures offer a glimpse of the new terminal rising just to the east of the existing complex.
< View of new Liberia terminal from across airfield

With all of this activity, Guanacaste, Costa Rica is getting ready to roll out the red carpet to welcome new and returning travelers with open arms. If you have always promised yourself you would visit someday, or haven’t been back recently to see how the country has grown, put Costa Rica in your plans for upcoming holidays or your 2012 vacation. And, fly to Liberia to get a fresh perspective. Search for flights to Liberia, Costa Rica, (LIR) with jetBLue or any of your favorite international airlines.
Your vacation could look like this! End view of new terminal from existing parking