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Sample Essay

Words 1,719

According to the environmental author P. Wight, there are six key ideologies underlying the concept of ecotourism. First and foremost, ecotourism should not degrade the area of interest in any way, form, or shape. Second, ecotourism should provide long-term benefits to the area and to the local community.

In this case, benefits may include preservation, scientific progress, social and cultural awareness, educational opportunities, or economic success. Third, ecotourism must provide first-hand, participatory, and enlightening encounter. Ecotourism should also involve education among all parties before, during, and after the ecotrip. These parties include the local communities, the government, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the industry, and the tourists themselves. Furthermore, ecotourism should promote sensitivity and partnerships between these parties. Lastly, ecotourism should advocate moral and ethical responsibilities and behavior towards the natural and cultural environment (Cater, 40). These principles are the basis for the practicality of ecotourism.

While many Third World nations are concentrating on rapid industrialization and urbanization, Costa Rica has turned to ecotourism as its key to economic development. Although a small country, Costa Rica has unbelievable biodiversity with scenic beaches, lush rain forest, impressive volcanoes, and exotic wildlife. The nation’s tourist industry brings in about 1 million visitors annually and generates roughly $1 billion a year, making it Costa Rica’s second largest source of income after silicon chip production. (Dulude, 2000). In terms of bringing in foreign currency, tourism is second only to the electronic components division led by INTEL, and it earns more foreign exchange than the nation’s former staple exports, bananas and coffee, combined. (Country Commercial Guide, 2001). Costa Rica’s tourism industry has outshined so rapidly for several reasons.

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