Sustainability in tourism in Costa Rica? Let’s be honest now. How far does our contribution really go when it comes to environmental protection and sustainability? In everyday life probably so Lala.
One or the other time we will be plagued by a bad conscience and wake up. But on holiday? We are supposed to be doing well and we don’t want to do without. After all, we always do without the whole year anyway.
But what exactly does soft tourism mean now? Basically one understands „sustainable tourism“ and thus a form of travel that pursues 3 essential concerns:
- Have as little impact as possible on the local nature or to possibly harm it.
- Experience nature as close, original and intensive as possible.
- Adapt to the culture of the country visited.
In addition to the ecological aspect, the socio-cultural and economic aspects also play a role here. According to the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), tourism is sustainable if its present and future economic, social and environmental impacts are fully taken into account and the needs of visitors, industry, the environment and local people are integrated. Super approach, isn’t it? And where exactly can this form be found now?
After years of working in the gastronomy and hotel business, including various self-employment activities, I thought I wanted to immerse myself in it and experience it up close. What does that mean for the guest? And what for the hotelier?
Sustainability in tourism – Costa Rica
So I started my research on ecotourism. After various „Google“-rounds a lot of a name very often, namely „Costa Rica“. For years there was already set on „Eco-Tourism“. In the future, however, they want to focus on sustainable and socially responsible tourism. This includes the integration of local initiatives for environmental protection, the promotion of small businesses and the rural population. Aha. But I want to see how they can do that in the middle of the jungle.
Paper is known to be very patient. And if you are 1000 km away from this country, they can quickly tell you something. I have to take a closer look. So I started looking for internships. And I quickly found what I was looking for. I agreed on everything and let me take a leave of absence on my job. „Fesch“. Everything I have fits exactly into a backpack. Wonderful. So little responsibility. It’s a good start.
Costa Rica is home to five percent of all animal species known worldwide on an area of only 30,000 square kilometers, a quarter alone is a pure protected area. You can also see reforested areas again and again, as this has been very important in recent years.
The Central American country, which has abolished its army and 99 percent of whose energy supply comes from renewable sources, is admittedly a prime example of landscape conservation in the region.
Of course, a great deal of infrastructure is still needed for perfect implementation. Especially in the remote areas around Samara. The beaches here are still heavily littered, also beside the streets one finds again and again burnt heaps of private garbage. The inhabitants of Costa Rica also suffer from poverty and unemployment despite great progress.
It is clearly recognizable that the majority of the population is active in trade, service, manufacturing or agriculture. Sectors such as transport, construction, etc. are low in percentage terms in this figure, as most workers in these sectors are employed unofficially and without secure employment contracts. Such conditions are unlikely to exist in any country today.
One of the probably most important points is that of air pollution. In Costa Rica in particular, the increase in vehicles on the roads has a direct impact on air quality. This is particularly the case in urban areas. The WHO’s recommended limit values are regularly exceeded. In San Jose, for example, there is a buzz of vehicles of all kinds almost 24 hours a day. The noise level alone is unbearable. I myself could not stand it there for 18 hours (incl. not being able to sleep because of the stuffy air and the horns).
Sustainable consumer behaviour as an „idea“ in Costa Rica is definitely tangible and visible at every corner. There are numerous Frutterias or Organic Stores. Also in all supermarkets there is almost always an „organic variant“ to choose from. Sustainable consumer behaviour, however, also means buying socially and environmentally compatible products and minimising the ecological, economic, cultural and social consequences and costs of one’s own consumption. But how should this be possible due to the income gap? Organic products are much more expensive. In other respects, food prices are almost the same as in Europe.
In contrast to Europe, plastic bags are rarely or never available in shops. Very praiseworthy. It is also always a sign to be found to do without plastic. Also in public parks there are signs with the call to recycle. Wall paintings with the request to consciously deal with water can be found in the cities at several corners. Also there are no more plastic straws for a long time. The annoying straws are made of organic coconut or recyclable materials.
I think the alignment is very good. Consciousness is there. The willingness to renounce as well. Everybody knows sustainability. You live in harmony with nature. If the population shows the way, you as a tourist can only join in directly. And my experience? It makes life so simple and therefore so worth living. Every guest I had the pleasure of welcoming as an intern was grateful. It is noticeable and does you good. Above all, it recharges the batteries in a very impressive and inconspicuous way. Sustainability in tourism in Costa Rica can be made possible, if we all work together.
There is a lack of (state) support so that implementation can succeed. Perhaps an organised waste system. Due to the numerous groups among the millenials that can be felt everywhere, this is only a question of time.
A very good orientation – Pura Vida – sustainability in tourism in Costa Rica is not just a simple phrase, it is almost growing.
You’re looking for a natural idyll, then just this way.
Want back to landing page – this way.
sustainability in travel and tourism – importance of sustainable tourism – benefits of sustainable tourism – Lodge blue zone magic