Ecotourism is a branch of the tourist industry that embraces visiting remote locations with a dedication to having as little impact on the local environment or ecosystem possible. Costa Rica is one of the countries that embraced this type of responsible tourism early. Today, Costa Rica ecotourism continues to stir controversy. While ecotourism in Costa Rica has reaped economic benefits, environmentalists are concerned that the desire for profits is outdistancing the need for conservation.
Costa Rica Ecotourism
One of the biggest concerns about ecotourism in Costa Rica is that the country will not be able to grow economically as well as keep their ecosystems healthy over the long term. This is not a claim that is unique to Costa Rica. It is a common concern for any country that depends on ecotourism as a developing industry.
Environmentalists are concerned that the success of ecotourism in Costa Rica has seeds for its future failure. The more successful ecotourism is, the more people will want to vacation this way and the more possibilities exist to damage fragile ecosystems. Again, this concern is not just focused on Costa Rica.
On the positive side, ecotourism seems to be a financial success in Costa Rica, bringing much needed cash to rural areas in addition to revenues earned in cities. In addition, other industries have benefited from the influx of tourists who have money to burn, including the coffee industry.
Costa Rica Ecotourism and You
If you choose to go on a responsible travel vacation to Costa Rica, make sure that you always keep in mind that while you are in Costa Rica to vacation and explore, you are also responsible for leaving as few footprints on the local ecosystem and community as possible. In addition, try to patronize local businesses and purchase local arts and crafts to support the local culture.
Do your research before you book a tour. Some companies advertise themselves as being "green" without actually following true ecotourism operations. Ask the questions that you would ask as if you were thinking about investing in a company, including the number of years in operation, their ownership and referrals.
Ecotourism is a great way to support local communities in underdeveloped areas, broaden your cultural horizons and lessen the impact leisure travel has on the planet. Research eco-tour companies and accommodations carefully to ensure their business practices are legitimately eco-friendly before booking.
There are several benefits of ecotourism. In recent years, ecotourism has exploded in popularity. Ecotourism takes tourists away from civilization and exposes them to exotic wildlife, new cultures and entrancing landscapes.