Sunday, April 20, 2008

The dark side of Costa Rica’s environmental tourism.

Costa Rica is often touted as an environmental paradise. It may have been true in the early years. But mass tourism has brought misery to the region. An investigation by Christian Science Monitor has come out with alarming facts.

Water quality tests conducted by the Costa Rica Water and Sewer Institute (AyA) over the past year found faecal contamination far above levels considered safe by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The biodiversity that has long lured visitors is disappearing. 97 percent of Costa Rica's sewage flows untreated into rivers, streams, or the ocean. Illegal well drilling is running aquifers dry. Monkey populations, symbols of the rain forest and a charismatic tourist attraction, declined by an estimated 50 percent in little more than a decade. Sea turtles are also threatened.

Costa Rica has 11,450 species of plants, 67,000 species of insects, 850 species of birds, and the highest density of plants, animals, and ecosystems of any country in the Americas. It is a shame if these disappear by pandering to tourism. What is needed is levelheaded planning. Judiciously used tourism is a great driver of economic prosperity. But the hen that lays the golden eggs has to be protected.

Read the full story here

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Link - 2008 Green Spaces Travel awards

I have received couple of mails asking for a link to the original article in TimesOnline
Here it is guys
Click here
Please send your entries to

The Times’ Green Spaces Travel Awards – 2008

Leading UK newspaper, The Times, has launched Green Spaces a new award for green travel. This is your chance to have your say about Green Spaces and gets rewarded to boot. You could win a copy of Alaister Sawday’s Green Places to Stay. Travellers around the world can nominate a favourite Green Space that they have encountered on holiday in the UK or abroad. You can nominate a hotel or villa, a park, a beach, a city, an area of natural beauty, a restaurant, a bar, a method of transport, a tour or holiday. Deadline is September 2008.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Pro-poor Tourism: Who Benefits?

Pro-poor tourism is the buzzword nowadays. It is part of the sustainable development strategies in the less developed countries. But is it a really effective development tool or lot of hogwash? Here is a book that does a detailed analysis with case studies.

Pro-poor Tourism: Who Benefits?

Perspectives on Tourism and Poverty Reduction

Edited by: C. Michael Hall

Publisher: Multilingual Matters

List price: £34.95

Format: Hardback (pp: 176) ISBN: 1-84541-075-0