Ecotourist: What type are you?

Ecotourist Spotting

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Americans love to travel making up 49% of Costa Rica tourists and they are demanding eco destination spots. According to the World Trade Organization, ecotourism captured 7% of the international market in 2007 with a global market economic impact of $77 billion. Ecotourism accounts for 6% of the worldwide GDP with a staggering growth rate of 5% per year. The industry is being driven by a rising consumer demand, which is creating a healthy market that many resorts are catering to.

But there are different types of ecotourists.

What kind of ecotourist are you?

Soft Ecotourist

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According to the United Nations, there are three types: hard ecotourist, soft ecotourist and the adventure ecotourist.  They share a common interest but enjoy slightly different flavors of green travel as well as levels of exertion.  From those looking to explore the rugged outdoors to others wanting to enjoy luxury done green.  They are experienced travelers and are shaping the market.

Ecotourist Paddling

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The hard ecotourist is motivated primarily by a scientific interest in nature and is interested in bird watching, nature photography, and botanical trips.  Sometimes they will take on activities that require strenuous effort and non-hotel accommodations. However, they are demanding more amenities at hotels and resorts drving up the price.

The second type is the soft ecotourist. They are the fastest growing segment.  This type is interested in observing wildlife and participating in local culture. Hiking is a favorite activity and they are less intense than the hard ecotourist.

Zipline Costa Rica

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The third type is the adventure ecotourist.  This type engages in moderate to high-risk activities such as surfing, scuba diving, snorkeling, wind surfing, whitewater rafting, and sport fishing. These types are the adrenaline all or nothing types looking for a challenge.

Ecotourism promotes cultural awareness, tolerance and commitment to protecting the environment. But ecotourism does not mean sacrificing luxury. Luxury with an eco-experience is a fast growing market.  There is an increasing demand from consumers for green luxury. It is a myth that in order to do things in an ecologically friendly way means sacrifice.  Being green does not mean a reduction in our quality of life, it actually means an improvement in our quality of life.

In 2007, there were 903 million travelers, and it is estimated that by 2020 there will be 1.6 billion international travelers. Ecotourism minimizes the negative aspects of conventional tourism on the environment and enhances the cultural integrity of local people.  It supports local economies and helps to generate a thriving community while also protecting the ecosystem. Tourism provides crucial income to many developing nations, and it is also included in the poverty reduction strategies of more than 80% of low-income countries.  As the places on the planet where you can experience raw nature dwindle, Costa Rica, and other developing countries, are becoming an increasingly scarce and valuable experience and economy. Crocodile Bay can accomodate any type of ecotourist.