Last updated: 01:30 PM ET, Tue January 19 2016

Costa Rican Animals Want To 'Save the Americans'

Destination & Tourism | Janeen Christoff | January 19, 2016

Costa Rican Animals Want To 'Save the Americans'

PHOTO: Rio Celeste Waterfall in Costa Rica. (Photo courtesy of Thinkstock)

Tourism to Costa Rica was a major driver in the country’s economy last year as it marked a tourism milestone – welcoming more than 1 million U.S. visitors. Costa Rica tourism experienced a growth of three times the rate of the country’s economy, making last year an exceptional one for the industry.

The country attributes the increase in North American tourism to several marketing initiatives, including several international fairs, new partnerships, activities in cities and Costa Rica’s popular “Save the Americans” campaign.

The campaign is the country’s first “inter-species campaign,” and features native Costa Rican animals warning Americans that their hectic work habits are endangering both their minds and bodies.

One of the campaign’s main concerns is the loss of family vacation time, as studies by show Americans leave more than 500 million vacation days unused every year. In the true spirit of a campaign, its mantra is “Costa Rican Animals for Overworked Americans,” and visitors to the can listen to songs sung by the animals and featuring bored American workers. The sight also has suggested itineraries for in its “Save Yourself” section, success stories of the rehabilitated and tips for stress free travel.

READ MORE: 5 Activities You Can’t Miss On Any Visit To Costa Rica

And, Costa Rica isn’t just saving the American travelers anymore. New flight options now connect Europe and Costa Rica. For example, since November of 2015, Thompson Airways offers weekly nonstop flights from Gatwick to Liberia and British Airways will launch two weekly flights in 2016 from London to San Jose.

Costa Rica received more than 2.6 million international arrivals by all ports, representing an increase of 5.5 percent. In addition, flight arrivals recorded more than 1.8 million arrivals, an increase of 8 percent, maintaining its position as the main port of entry with almost 70 percent of tourists entering the country through airports.

“In addition to the country’s rapid arrivals growth, 2015 has been an exceptional year for development in the tourism industry,” said Minister of Tourism Mauricio Ventura. “We have experienced an increase in the number of airlines currently flying to Costa Rica, as well as major progress in the development of the National Congress and Convention Center. This year will also be forever marked in Costa Rican tourism history, as the industry important milestone – the arrival of over one million Americans.”

READ MORE: Venturing on a Hanging Bridge Tour in Costa Rica

According to Ventura, four airlines began offering flights from North America to Costa Rica in 2015. New flights included service from Baltimore and Houston on Southwest Airlines to San Jose, a WestJet flight from Calgary to San Jose and a Denver to San Jose flight on United Airlines.

Tourism should remain a bright spot for Costa Rica’s economy in 2016. The eco-friendly nation, with its well-developed infrastructure and inclination toward sustainability, has wide appeal and is again recognized by publications and new sites as a top destination to visit this.

In “Where to Travel in 2016” guides, both MSN and Travel + Leisure  have Costa Rica on their list of must-visit destinations.

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