Differences Between Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism in Costa Rica

    Environmental responsibility or conscience with responsibility?

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    Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism are terms that are often used interchangeably. Although ecotourism and sustainable tourism have great similarities, they have subtle differences.

    EI Sustainable Tourism is that tourism modality that responds to the needs of the tourists and the host regions present while protecting and improving the opportunities of the future. It is focused on managing all resources in a way that meets all economic, social and aesthetic needs while respecting cultural integrity, essential ecological processes, biological diversity and life support systems

    Sustainable tourism includes economic, socio-cultural and environmental sustainability as an opportunity for human development without mortgaging or putting at risk the natural and socio-cultural resources of local economies.

    According to the Quebec Declaration on Ecotourism (2002), this tourism modality “assumes the principles of sustainable tourism with respect to economic, social and environmental impacts, differentiating itself from this by:

    1. Contributes actively to the conservation of the Natural and Cultural Patrimony
    2. It includes local and indigenous communities in their planning, development, and operation, thus contributing to their well-being;
    3. Interprets the Natural and Cultural Heritage of the destination for visitors
    4. More attention is paid to independent travelers as well as to organized tours for small groups.

    The most comprehensive of terms, “sustainable tourism” addresses a wide range of topics including economic viability, socio-cultural sensitivity, and environmental conservation. It actively seeks to reduce the negative impacts of the tourism industry on the environment and local communities and its principles can be applied to large or small travel destinations of all kinds. While “ecotourism” is a type of sustainable tourism that focuses specifically on rural and wilderness areas. And, the “nature tourism“? On its own, it offers very little specific information. In general, it applies to rural and wild destinations but does not necessarily offer travelers any guarantee of environmental or social responsibility.

    In conclusion, if you want to have a better and more tourist experience, I advise you to put into practice sustainable tourism, as it will give you a great range of unique and unforgettable experiences.

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