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Sustainable Ecotourism in Costa Rica and the United States

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Presentation on theme: "Sustainable Ecotourism in Costa Rica and the United States"— Presentation transcript:

1 Sustainable Ecotourism in Costa Rica and the United States
Roslyn Albee, Carl Carnagey, and Neysa Daquilante Neysa

2 After This Presentation You Should Be Able To:
Understand what ecotourism is, its importance, and what impacts may result in Costa Rica and the U.S. Describe activities that make up ecotourism in Costa Rica and the U.S. and how they may differ Analyze if an ecotourism activity or operation is sustainable and identify ways to increase sustainability of ecotourism operations in the future Know how to properly choose a sustainable ecotourism company when traveling in the U.S. and abroad Neysa Presentation Objectives The most important objectives include knowing what ecotourism is and how activities vary around the world and how to analyze an ecotourism company as a traveler to decide if it is sustainable or not and what qualities designate this title.

3 Importance of Ecotourism
Ecological: build environmental awareness waste production Economical: provides source of income for businesses and local community incentive for conserving and enhancing environment Social: build cultural awareness and respect Neysa b) Ecologically i) Ecologically ecotourism can be a double edged sword if not done with some care. The waste created by the tourist whom have come to help solve a problem or just enjoy what nature has to offer is sometimes more harmful than the tourists presence is helpful. Keeping a clear picture of the scope of one’s impact while participating in ecotourism is important. c) Economically i) Ecotourism is an increasing industry providing a source of income for tour companies that have developed or adopted ecotourism as both a marketing strategy and way of doing business. This brings much needed external income into all economies having the largest impact on the global south. d) Socially i) Ecotourism is a mixed bag; socially due to the varied method used by ecotourism companies and their participants. In some cases the social impacts are tremendous and helpful and other times they are not considered by the company or the ecotourist

4 What Is Ecotourism? Goal is to unite conservation, communities, and sustainable travel Tourism to places having unspoiled natural resources, with minimal impact on the environment being a primary concern Neysa The International Ecotourism Society Sustainable Travel International

5 Activities in Costa Rica and the U.S.
Local environment Sea turtles and sustainable theme parks Emphasis on helping local communities U.S.: Viewing of untouched/unexploited landscapes Alaska to the Rockies Individual or small group experiences Neysa b) How they differ i) The single largest difference seen when considering ecotourism in the United States versus Costa Rica is the lack of emphasis on socially impacting tours. In Costa Rican literature there are many examples of tours that have the express purpose of improving a community or region where as all of the American tours center on the experience of an untouched wilderness. pic: The Huffington Post outlines 9 types of ecotourism opportunities in the U.S. a few opportunities include: volunteer at a wildlife refuge or animal shelter stay at an eco-resort or eco-hotel, many are LEED certified or have the Green Seal of green building materials Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WOOF) allows people to volunteer in exchange for food and board-builds relationships with farmers visit a national park Another lower impact way to travel is do hostels when ecotourism isn’t an option

6 Economic Impacts Negative:
Growing industry with potentially accumulating negative impacts Positive: Creates jobs Provides needed external capital to locations lacking industry Can be used to market a vacation company or particular get away Neysa If an ecotourism company acts in a sustainable way, the positive impacts can outweigh the negative impacts set forth on the environment. an explanation of how marketing the eco-friendly tourism draws in customers who want to feel good about themselves and is a competitive advantage.

7 Ecological Effects Can help to keep otherwise vulnerable ecosystems intact and productive The impact of the tourist can be negative with too much waste being created. Choose your tour company carefully Carl In reference to choosing ones company carefully we will discus the fact that some tour companies brand themselves as ecotourism vendors but are actually just using the concept for marketing and don’t consider the ecological impacts of their tours at all.

8 Social Impact Ecotourism is a mixed bag; socially do to the varied method used by ecotourism companies and their participants. Can be very helpful to an ecosystem when tour companies act responsibly Carl

9 Themes of Ecotourism in the U.S
Focused on viewing untouched wilderness not usually action oriented individual or small group Carl

10 Themes of Ecotourism in Costa-Rica
Hands on Community minded with positive social impact larger groups often accomplish more Carl Hands on Educating tourists about the importance of these ecosystems, what the animals are, etc Community Supported Jobs Health Care Adding additional protected land through investing profits into conservation

11 What Makes an Ecotourism Company Sustainable?
Economical: balance between citizens long term economic needs and short term goals of the business Ecological: reinvestment of profits into conservation increasing biodiversity reduction of solid waste over time Social: evidence of thriving local culture effective planning Carl Sustainable Travel International identifies key aspects of a sustainable ecotourism company

12 Ecological Sustainability
What are the impacts to the environment? Does it benefit the land by keeping it protected: lodging, amenities, etc? What habitats and endangered species are being affected? Carl some questions for consumers to ask when evaluating companies based on level of sustainability: add additional questions to be asked based on time

13 Economic Sustainability
Does it make the rich richer or help everyone within the community? What services are benefiting (restaurants, lodging, etc)? Does the money spent on ecotourism stay in the country and locally? Roslyn For every dollar generated by ecotourism how much of it stays in Costa Rica and how much economic value does that bring to the local community When locals have money from ecotourism they are then able to spend money locally creating an upward spiral for all

14 Social Sustainability
Does it affect indigenous people of the host country? Does the culture accept and educate others? Are the ecotourism organizations sensitive to make sure locals are being respected? Roslyn Are the people employed How is local access to basic needs (food, water, shelter, health care, etc) Do Costa Ricans like the foreigners visiting and are both parties respectful along with learning from each other. Questions to think about when planning your trip

15 Certification in Sustainable Tourism
“aims to differentiate tourism businesses based on the degree to which they comply with a sustainable model of natural, cultural, and social resource management” 5 levels of certification Roslyn Allows you to make an easier and educated decision on what businesses are the most sustainable

16 How to Pick the Right Tour
Does it meet your trip goals? Uses local resources and employees Balance impacts Roslyn: Balancing conservation, profits, and locals. Is it fun for those experiencing it? Is the experience going to be one they recommend to others?

17 Ecotourism Video Roslyn
If there is extra time this ecotourism video with the opinions of Costa Rican

18 Websites with Additional Information
nature/index.html Roslyn: Additional Resources Questions

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