Costa Rica is the World Headquarters for Fishing Tourism
With the upcoming Offshore World Championship (OWC)being held in April right here in our backyard at the Marina Pez Vela in Quepos, the fishing tourism sector expects to receive more than 800 tourists, generating significant economic benefits for the area.
“Performing for the second consecutive year the World Fishing Tournament, called the Offshore World Championship, in Marina Pez Vela will bring great economic impact to the sector and we see this, a great opportunity for the country to highlight and give relevance to the fishing tourism sector that generates more than 2% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).”, said Enrique Ramirez Guier, Executive Director of the Costa Rican Fisheries Federation (Fecop). Quote courtesy of FECOP, Costa Rica Fisheries Federation.
The economic and social impacts this creates are excellent for our community and for the country in general. According to a 2013 report, the World Fishing Tournament last year hosted 68 teams (340 fishermen). Total estimated income to the country from this event exceeded $2 million. Directly quantifiable items such as hotel and luxury villa accommodations, transportation, boat rentals, ice, bait and special events, left a total revenue of approximately $1 million, whereas the indirectly quantifiable items such as sales of tours, crafts, local restaurants, tips, was also estimated at approximately $1 million to the country.
The movement of tourists and sport fishermen along the Pacific coast of Costa Rica has intensified since last November, when the high season started. However, conducting pre-qualifying tournaments for the global competition generates a peak visitation in the country.
“In the Horseshoe Tournament held last month, over 2,000 sailfish were reported. This is something never seen in the world. The high concentration of this species in Costa Rican waters brings even more excited tourists,” says Ramirez.
The diversity of beaches, ecotourism, climate and especially marine wildlife that Costa Rica offers convinced the Offshore World Championship to return again for a second year.
Fishing tourism does not cause a negative impact to marine resources as it follows strict guidelines and uses responsible and sustainable practices based on the capture and release of the species of interest: sailfish, blue marlin, black marlin, striped marlin and tarpon.
The Offshore World Championship will be held this year from April 6th-11th and expects participants from 60 countries and about 250 people registered accompanied by friends, family and spectators of this event, totaling about 800 visitors, a great event for our local community and economy!