Ecotourism - Costa Rica, Case Study.

Useful for GCSE Geography Spec B.

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Costa Rican Ecotourism ­ Case Study.
Costa Rica is a Central American country of 3.9 million
people. It is bordered by
Nicaragua and Panama in the north and south, and by
the Caribbean and
Pacific Oceans on the east and west. Costa Rica
gained independence from Spain in
1821. It has a strong civilian tradition and is a
peace-seeking nation with no army.
Costa Rica is an ecotourists paradise as more then
10% of the land is protected, mostly by national
parks. 17% is also set aside for forest reserves also
known as `buffer zones'. The country alone contains
5% of the world's total species of flora and fauna.
This includes somewhere between 500,000 and a
million total species of plants and animals; hundreds
of thousands species of insects; 2,000 species of
orchids; 208 species of mammals; 850 species of
birds; endless thousands of species of moths and butterflies. In a space that occupies less
than three ten-thousands of the earth's surface. Considering the size of the country which is
only one fifth the size of the UK, you can really see the potential the country has to take
eco tourism on board.
Costa Rica has taken these opportunities and has created some lodging and activities to
encourage tourists to visit the country. This will help the economy and development of the
country as well as benefits to the people which include
educational things such as language and different ways of living.
However they have been cautious in the cons of tourism such as
damage to the environment and overcrowding. Since the
environment is one of the country's greatest priorities, they
have built lodging that won't destroy its surroundings. These are
called ecolodges and are `carbon neutral' in the way of running
them.
The only thing that would decrease someone's interest in
renting an eco lodge is the price; they can tend to be quite expensive but you can find
cheaper lodging such as eco bed and breakfasts. Since there are much cheaper package
holidays available some people often choose them. They are much cheaper because they
attract a vast amount of tourist and are called `mass tourism'. As they are getting so much
income they can afford to offer cheaper and cheaper holidays so more and more people can

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However ecotourism offers things such as canoeing, wildlife watching, hiking and they
have even started to bring in extreme sports such as zip wiring and bungee jumping. These
opportunities are changing the minds of tourists typical sun, sand and sea holidays.

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