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ECOTOURISM. Cultural, Environmental and Economic Impacts of Ecotourism in Costa Rica by Irene, Larissa & Raynard. Ecotourism. “Responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and sustains the well-being of local people.”. History. Man originally traveled in search of food

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ECOTOURISM

Cultural, Environmental and Economic Impacts of Ecotourism in Costa Rica

by

Irene, Larissa & Raynard


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Ecotourism

“Responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and sustains the well-being of local people.”

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History

  • Man originally traveled in search of food

  • Mid 20th century wildlife killed for sport in Africa

  • 1970 Kenya outlaws hunting and poaching to preserve large mammals

  • 1980’s mass ecotourism (name coined)

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Biophilia

  • Harvard Biologist E. O. Wilson

    • “We evolved from people who worked in pastoral settings and interacted with other species. This image is ingrained in our brains and be seek it. When we harm life we harm our well being.”

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Environmental Impacts

  • Overcrowding

  • Overdevelopment

  • Recreational activities

  • Artificial Provisioning

  • Pollution

  • Infrastructure

  • Vehicles

  • Other

    • Souvenir collection

    • introduction of exotic plants and animals

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Tourist overcrowding

  • Environmental stress, animals show changes in behavior.

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Overdevelopment

  • Excessive man-made structures.

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Recreational Activities

  • Disturbance of wildlife particularly in reference to feeding, breeding and resting behaviors.

  • Some disturbance effect competition with natural predators.

  • Vegetation damage and soil erosion.

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Artificial Provisioning

  • Feeding by tourists results in

    • behavior changes

    • decreased self reliance

    • danger to tourists

  • Provision of water holes leads to an unnatural concentration of wildlife and vegetation damage.

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Pollution

  • Mutilation of natural attraction.

  • Theft of plants for private gardens.

  • Disturbance of natural sounds

  • Degradation of natural scene

    • danger to wildlife and hazards to tourists

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Infrastructure

  • Roads, power lines, waste disposal all cause

    • habitat and vegetation loss

    • decrease in water quality

    • interference with ecosystem energy flow

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Vehicles

  • Wildlife mortality

  • Soil and vegetation damage

  • Air pollution

  • Disturbance to wildlife

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Other

  • Souvenir demands lead to removal of natural attraction

  • Introduction of exotic plants and animals results in competition that disrupts natural processes

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Solution? Travel Green

Take only photographs;

leave only footprints.


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Cultural Impacts of Tourism

  • Indian Ruins

  • Crafts

  • Art

  • Music

  • Local Culture

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Indian Ruins

  • The Huetar Indians made beautiful sculptures that were found hundreds of years after they were made.

  • The Catapa, Voto and Suerre tribes lived in the north and the Cabecar and Bribri lived in the south and the Terraba and Boruca lived in the Diquis Valley and all made sculptures found 1,000 years later.

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Huetar Indian Artifact

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Brunca Indian Artifact

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Pre-Columbian artifacts

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Quepo stone sphere

Granite spheres’ function unknown

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Crafts

  • When purchasing artwork and crafts support the work of local craft persons and artisans to help keep cultural traditions alive

  • Remnants of Chorotega and Boruca pots, weavings and carved wooden pieces are displayed in the museums of San Jose and Cartago

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Art

  • Centuries ago natives made beautiful gold, jade and ceramic figures and jewelry. They also made perfectly round huge stones. No one knows how they were made or why.

  • Locals use everyday objects such as wagon wheels and oxcarts to paint and display as art.

  • Costa Ricans love color and introduce it to their daily lives when women wear layers of colorful skirts and men wear brightly colored shirts.

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The Oxcart

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Music

  • Costa Rica has imported music & dance from the West. They also keep alive native entertainment.

    • people from the region of Guanacaste still do a dance accompanied by the music of the guitar and marimba, a large xylophone.

  • Costa Ricans love to dance and listen to music. Instruments include the quijongo, a drum made from animal skins; the ocarina, a small wind instrument; and the jicaro, a kernel filled gourd.

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Local Culture

  • Holidays are very important to the Costa Rican people. They celebrate

    • Catholic holidays including Christmas and Easter

    • Columbus Day (Oct 12)

    • Central American Independence Day (Sept 15)

    • celebrations of the harvest of their coffee crop including an activity where bulls and men participate in a hilarious, wild, free-for-all bullfight in which no bull is ever killed or even severely wounded.

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Local Culture

  • Attend local cultural events. Your support helps local performers preserve their culture.

  • Soccer is the most popular spectator sport.

  • Speaking to locals in their native language will demonstrate your respect for local culture.

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A Roman Catholic church

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Economic Impacts of Tourism

  • Hotel and Lodges

  • Tour Companies

  • Restaurants

  • Souvenir Purchases

  • Access Fees

  • Frequent local venues

  • Promote “Green Tourism”

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Hotels & Lodges

  • Choose locally-owned and operated

    • lodges, hotels

    • tour agencies and guides

    • taxis, buses

    • car rental agencies.

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Tour Companies

  • Support local and international tour companies and accommodations that employ local people and purchase locally-grown foodstuffs.

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Restaurants

  • Eat in local restaurants and shop in local markets.

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Souvenirs

  • Purchase souvenirs from local shops and artisans

  • When paying locals for goods or services, offer a fair price if negotiating is an acceptable practice

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Access Fees

  • Pay access fees to protected sites, even when voluntary

  • Your money supports local efforts to conserve those areas

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Local Venues

  • Frequent local cultural events.

  • Your money helps local artists and performers and encourages preservation of cultural heritage.

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Promote “Green Tourism”

  • Fortunately, the negative economic effects of tourism can be mitigated

  • Through sensitive development practice and the financial support of tourists, locals in Costa Rica, among other places, are participating in a sustainable tourist economy

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Promote “Green Tourism”

  • Ecotravelers can support vital efforts by making informed travel choices.

    • Spending wisely can

      • help create better opportunities for local businesses, farmers, and artisans,

      • foster sustainable economic growth

      • provide genuine benefit to the people in vacation destinations

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