Thursday, August 12, 2010

Final Thoughts...

Most Significant tourism issues in Costa Rica:
The water usage management is important because everybody needs clean water, and accessible water. We heard in Turrialba of places on the coastline that would use enough water to feed 10,000 families in a year, on their single golf course. I also think that CST should think about creating further stipulations for hotels and tour operators that are something along the lines of making sure that the local towns have enough clean water before a hotel’s extra benefits, like a golf course, are created.

Another issue was the fact that some places or establishments marketed sustainable products because of their appearance, but when we actually examined the product, we began to wonder how sustainable it really was. This misleading promotion tool is known as green washing. Sometimes companies say they are sustainable but are really not as sustainable as they claim.

The hunting of iguanas used to be highly prevalent in Costa Rica as the nation slowly began to witness the population of their iguanas decline. This was largely because some locals would use this so called attraction to attract foreigners so that they could get money off of showing iguana breeding grounds in low trees, that made it easy for the foreigners to hunt these animals. The reason why hunting iguanas was so in demand was because iguanas were very lean and produced great meat in terms of how low their fat was.

The government should fund or reward organizations and companies that really are sustainable and beneficial to the eco-tourism industry. We think it is imperative for other countries to look at the model Costa Rica is setting for eco-tourism. This way, countries can see that striving to be first in technology and making as much money as you can in the corporate world isn’t the only way to make money. In fact it is arguable that making money off of educating tourist about the environment is one of the best moral ways to make money.

What does sustainability mean to me?
As a group the word sustainability means being able to provide enough of what is necessary for the group or the individual to survive while at the same time being aware of the environment and your surroundings. By this, we mean anybody can produce the same thing given the necessary materials, but the way they produce them may be different and based on their definition of sustainable they may be in favor of one product over another. For example, product A may save more money but take more time to produce than product B that uses more money and the time it needs to be produced is shorter. As a group or an individual, they have to decide which product they want based on their needs, product A or product B. In this particular case we as a group would be in favor of product A because it is more sustainable for our wallets. This could be put in terms with the environment too. Let’s say that product C is made purely out of new paper and product D is made from recycled banana paper that is more expensive than the regular paper. One needs to decide which is “better” according to their definition of better. One person may say product C is better because it is cheaper than product D. Another person may think oppositely because product D is recycled and beneficial for the environment knowing that it is a more expensive product. In this case because we are aware of the effects the products have on the environment, we would be in favor of product D.

Final thoughts on the Emerald Eagle Costa Rica Study Abroad:
We believe that it would be beneficial to future study abroad groups if they were able to speak and ask questions to previous study abroad students that studied the same length they will be. This would be helpful to them because they will have an idea of what to expect for the course and will give them an idea of how they should manage both their free time and their time after long exhausting days.