Commercial organizations, be large or small, were acting on the ‘Dowkin’s Principle of Self Interest.’ With such wanton and rapid growth in tourism activity, it is no wonder that the impact of largely unplanned tourism development has been felt deeply as impending on environment, ecology, and on the people or the community.
In the wake of these impacts, there is a need for the alternate tourism so that we can preserve tourism with its benefits for next generations also. Thus, sustainable tourism development has become one of the essential elements of new tourism paradigm from “mass tourism” to “sustainable tourism.” Ecotourism is now a major growth area in its own right.
Since the majority of the country’s GDP relies heavily on the tourism industry, the need to increase the number of visitors to the country is always a priority.
But it seems that the country is turning a blind eye when it comes to issues surrounding overcapacity at many of its sites.
However, as with all things, it seems that there is a delicate balancing act associated to ecotourism. A government will see a natural or human-made site is gaining the attention of tourists.
They will then seek to preserve or protect the site from further development, maintaining its status as an attraction.What outsiders and visitors merely view as an act of “care for the environment” is in actuality a significant opportunity to affect income and employment at levels of government. Adopting an ecotourism mindset allows a country to protect its land, by refusing further development, disruption, and pollution.It may seem contrary to the previous points since a decrease in growth usually means a reduction in revenue.The World Tourism Organization (WTO 1996) predicts that international tourism will grow at approximately 4% per year through the year 2010.Until the start of the second last decade of the last century, tourism was seen as a profitable sector of business with no obvious constraints to growth, few barriers to entry to market, an almost universal welcome from governments, and few effective regulatory requirements to take the environment into consideration.This figure doesn’t include the countless streams, tributaries, and rivers within the protected land areas, that by default are also protected.The same can say for the river deltas and miles of beaches.Natural and wildlife sites are seeing so much traffic that the amount of vegetation degradation and soil erosion that have occurred are staggering.Pollution and trash at these locations have also increased by the order of magnitude.Costa Rica is known worldwide as an ecotourism destination, its jungles, coastline and tropical climate attracts millions of people every year.But is there such a thing as “too much of a good thing” when it comes to ecotourism?