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Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Isidore Lobnibe

Abstract

Sustainability in small communities preserves the natural environment while benefiting the lifestyles of community members by promoting human welfare. One quarter of Costa Rica’s export income comes from tourism, with ecotourism being the most prominent form of tourism. The field research of this study was conducted in the regions of Tárcoles, Carara National Park, and Jacó along the Pacific Coast in Costa Rica where tourists who visit other local attractions often bypass Tárcoles. It explored which services interest tourists, what activities tourists travel to Costa Rica for, and the sustainable services they are willing to pay for. Multiple surveys, semi-structured interviews, and participant observation were the methods for data collection. The analysis of the data suggests that there are opportunities in Tárcoles for the community to take advantage of the tourists visiting nearby attractions and develop sustainable services that preserve the environment and create economic benefits for locals.

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