Ethnic tourism is found within cultural tourism and involves visiting various ethnic groups that exist around the world in their natural habitat. The main attraction of ethnic tourism is to know the way of life of certain human groups, exotic for the traditional tourist of the West. Ethnic groups are often visited with great religious diversity and customs such as the indigenous peoples of the Amazon, the tribes of Papua Guinea or groups of Australian and Costa Rican aborigines. Ethnic tourism is very interesting because the groups have their own language, their beliefs, forms of hunting, fishing and agriculture, and different cultural expressions.
Tourists visiting ethnic destinations often stay in villages or huts close to ethnic groups and share some of their customs.
While the ethnic tourist can share the trip with primitive Indians, these tours are controlled and these tribes are very accustomed to the tourists; Perform dances and give necklaces to tourists. Tour operators will guide travelers to sample products and dishes typical of different areas.
Ethnic tourism is also carried out in Africa. In some areas, it can be shared with local tribes that live on animals hunted by Europeans or Americans.
Ethnic tourism is a form of sustainable tourism as the tourist integrates with the ethnic group that visits, adapts to the lack of luxuries and copious dinners and understands the importance of caring for the natural environment that is the permanent dwelling of these groups.
Costa Rica has been included in the “Top 10 Ethical Destinations of the World in Development” lists for both 2011 and 2012. This is an annual ranking produced by “Ethical Traveler” magazine, which is based on a study of Developing countries around the world to identify the best tourist destinations among this group of nations. The measurement uses categories such as environmental protection, social welfare, and human rights.