Costa Rica airport gets a new name

Liberia International Airport becomes “Guanacaste Airport.”

Have you ever boarded a flight for Costa Rica and accidentally ended up in West Africa?1

Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport (LIR) in northern Costa Rica is rebranding from “Liberia International Airport” to “Guanacaste Airport,” authorities announced Thursday morning.

The change reflects the airport’s importance to the region and will help improve the destination’s name recognition abroad.

“ ‘Guanacaste’ defines a region, and it’s a unique name,” said César Jaramillo Gallego, general manager of the airport.

“In terms of Liberia, the name coincides with a country in Africa. It can create confusion, especially to European or Middle Eastern travelers. Liberia where? Africa or Costa Rica? Guanacaste doesn’t cause that problem.”

As part of the rebranding, Guanacaste Airport is launching a “Why Guanacaste?” marketing campaign to promote the region’s beaches, volcanoes, wildlife and culture.

“Guanacaste Airport will be our spearhead to position the province and its beauties, as well as all the facilities that the terminal offers, to tourists and airlines,” Jaramillo said.

Guanacaste Airport is already served by more than a dozen airlines with nonstop flights from the United States, Canada2 and Europe. Authorities say that last month, the airport nearly equaled its pre-pandemic passenger traffic.

“The Tourism Board celebrates the launch of the Guanacaste Airport brand, which will allow us to strengthen the position of this province as a tourist destination,” said Tourism Minister Gustavo Segura.

The airport will keep its official aeronautical codes (IATA: LIR, ICAO: MRLB).

The next step, we presume, is making sure tourists flying to Costa Rica don’t end up in San Jose, California, by mistake.

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1

Me either, but hey, human stupidity knows no bounds.

2

These flights are currently suspended due to the pandemic.