Despite its small size, Costa Rica is home to some of the most diverse natural landscapes and intense concentrations of biodiversity on earth. And with these jungles, volcanoes, cloud forests, mangrove swamps, and the dizzying array of wildlife that lives there, comes a growth in tourism.
As this industry grows, it is important to preserve the country’s natural resources, not only to ensure Costa Rica retains its reputation as a world-class destination for nature tourism, but also in order to protect the delicate ecosystems that could so easily be overwhelmed by an influx of visitors and the infrastructure that comes with them.
This is where sustainable tourism comes into play. In this blog post, we’ll touch on what sustainable tourism is and take a closer look at how it is being implemented in Costa Rica.
What is Sustainable Tourism?
Sustainable tourism is tourism that aims to strike a balance between providing consumers with their needs, whilst protecting the interests of the local population and the environment. It aims to minimize negative impacts on local communities and the natural landscape, promote conservation and sustainability.
This type of tourism ensures that the natural resources and cultural heritage of a destination are protected and preserved for future generations, and that the local population benefits from people coming to visit.
How is Sustainable Tourism Implemented in Costa Rica?
Protection of Natural Resources: Costa Rica has established numerous national parks, wildlife refuges, and other protected areas to conserve its diverse landscapes and wildlife. The country has also implemented various regulations to minimize the impact of tourism on these protected areas.
In fact, more than a quarter of the surface of Costa Rica is a protected area, with a mind-boggling 28 national parks, 58 wildlife refuges, 11 forest reserves, 8 biological reserves, 15 wetland and mangrove reserves, and numerous other regions protected in order to preserve a distinctive ecosystem.
This means that places such as Corcovado, Manuel Antonio, Tortuguero National Parks, the some of the most intensely biodiverse places on earth and home to stunning animal, flora and fauna species, are safe from serious development that would put these habitats at risk. That, in turn, makes a wildlife holiday in Costa Rica a reality for many generations to come.