Williams Powers, an ecotourist activist wrote in his book, Whispering in the Giants Ear, “That which we allow to exist, to flourish freely according to its own rhythms, is superior to anything our little hands create.” Ecotourism is defined as "responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people."
Ecotourism plays a vital role in a nations economy. Many factors entail whether a country can be successful economically. Ecotourism has thrived and failed, depending on how it was operated. Once a country accepts money from their government to begin ecotourism, they will be forever in debt. When the governments ...view middle of the document...
Costa Rica ran into a similar obstacle in the that the Philippines went through. Costa Rica began to implement ecotourism in their country in 1969. After five years no profit had come in. This was concerning to the government, but unlike the Philippines, the Costa Rican government agreed with the locals to invest and trust in ecotourism for a decade. After nine years, in 1973, Costa Rica had broke even. In 1974 they made over ten million. Ever since 1974, profits had come in exponentially. From 1974 to 1994 over six hundred million was brought in. In 1999 for the first time in Costa Rican history over one million ecotourists came to Costa Rica. They brought in over one billion in revenue. Many speculate that the Philippines were on the same track, but the lack of communication between the government and people proved catastrophic. Costa Rica is known as the focal point for ecotourism worldwide.
Ecotourism began in Costa Rica in the 1970’s. It was very small and began to grow exponentially in the late 1980’s. In 1970 Costa Rica had a GNP, gross national product of 1000 million in 1995 that number nonuple to 9000 million. Many consider 1978 the first year ecotourism began in Costa Rica. At that time, Costa Rica had a GNP/capita of 1500. After the ecotourism boom, the number ballooned to 2000 in 1992. It is evident by the 33% increase in GNP/capita that ecotourism was a positive influence economically on Costa Rica.
Another key problem is that the economic benefit of ecotourism does not always reach the local community. One of ecotourisms main goals is to help the local community generate domestic employment and economic opportunities for locals. The locals are provided jobs that are directly related to ecotourism and are often directly benefited. But sometimes, the profits are leaked out of the community and into the hands of the rich. Many wealthy businessmen use ecotourism and its development projects looking for short term economic gain. By doing this the local environment and people would suffer dramatically. As previously mentioned Costa Rica is currently the most successful country economically in regards to ecotourism. One of the main reasons is because Costa Rica's ecotourism industry has been very careful to avoid this pitfall. They have protected their money very well, but many are concerned that as the industry grows Costa Rica may run into businessmen who want a part of the action. Costa Rica must be cautious as many countries, particularly in Africa, have fallen victim to businessmen who appear generous. The key to success in Costa Rica is that all the money is in house.
A study was completed in 2001 to understand what was the most efficient way to be an ecotourist country. This was accomplished by first figuring out what ecotourism was doing wrong. The study concluded that the people involved in ecotourism can benefit most by “showing enthusiasm and cooperation with government policies of equitable and...