Tourism in Costa Rica
Costa Rica has over the past 5 year seen a significant increase in the number of Tourists walking through its doors. Costa Rica now boasts 2 International airports, Juan Santamaria and Liberia International airport. The Liberia airport has seen such a exponential increase in incoming flights it has had to expand the terminal and it will sure be getting bigger sooner. The reason for this increase is because of the Guanacaste region in the North of Costa Rica seeing an increase in construction of hotel, rentals and villas. This has been great for Costa Rica as it has given jobs and taxes to the people of Costa Rica in a predominently poor region of Costa Rica. However the negative side of this is the fact that there was more construction in Guanacaste than all of Costa Rica put together in 2005/2006.
One of the many concerns of Costa Rica and people living here is the fact that you are seeing more high rise condo units, Tamarindo has virtually turned into a US mud town, with the roads in poor condition and Burger King and Pizza Hut signs up. What has the world come to when the big fast food chains are over taking a small Costa Rican town?
Also there is talk of opening another International airport in the Osa Peninsula in the South of Costa Rica, which in my opinion is the last straw as this is an area of Natural Beauty that attracts people beacuse it is hard to get to. This area is Eco-tourism at its highest with 6% of the worlds biodiversity in this area of Costa Rica. You can see wildlife from Macaws to Dolphins and jaguars here. You will often see the National Geographic and Discovery channel filming here.
The basis of this discussion is the fact that Costa Rica is seen as an eco friendly country with no army and its care for the environment is paramount. However if it lets the $$’s takeover the long term sustainability of the tourism industry will become very short term.
If Costa Rica looks after its country then it will forever be known as a great Eco-destination.