Costa Rica in 2013 welcomed a record 2.42 million tourists, up 3.6 percent compared with 2012, the country's tourism minister said.

Allan Flores told a press conference that tourism provided Costa Rica with $2.43 billion in revenues in 2013.

"The sustained growth (of tourist arrivals) by air in these last four years is the reflection of an aggressive strategy to attract new airlines, (with) new destinations and more seats, on which we have been working jointly in the public and private sectors," the minister said.

In 2013, a little more than 1.6 million tourists arrived in Costa Rica by air and some 800,000 entered the country by land or sea.

The National Tourism Chamber has said that for 2014 to present an improvement in tourist activity government actions to reduce the cost of energy and fuel, to offer better public safety, as well as to make procedures more flexible and improve infrastructure will be required.

Costa Rica is a country of 4.7 million residents, and its main attractions are its natural beauty, adventure destinations and its broad biodiversity.

Tourism in the Central American nation directly employs some 150,000 people and indirectly provides work for another 400,000. EFE