THE ENVIRONMENT AND THE FUTURE OF TOURISM
Main Article Content
Eco-tourism, environmental degradation, sustainability, community development
Under the neoliberal economic model promulgated by the International Monetary Fund, many countries such as Costa Rica have changed economic policy to emphasize international tourism. With the increase in tourist arrivals, tourism is considered a major generator of foreign exchange but with externalities subsidized through degradation of local environments. Such development is considered inefficient and unsustainable resource use. Eco-tourism is environmentally friendly due to its small-scale, community based, and reliant on local commodities. Eco-tourism is significant in a world of increasingly scarce natural resources and environmental degradation. A world of environmental limitations requires a shift in tourist modalities. The policy challenge is to decentralize the tourist sector and reorient towards broad-based eco-tourism.