University of Costa Rica
AGROTOURISM AND AGRO-ECOTOURISM IN COSTA RICA
Agrotourism is a form of tourism that encourages visitors to experience rural culture as a tourist attraction. The term “agro-ecotourism” was used for the first time in Costa Rica in 1994, and it is generally used as synonym of agrotourism. Nonetheless, not all cases of agro-tourism display sufficient concern for the environment to be considered agro-ecotourism. The aim of the present document is to examine the relationship between tourism and agriculture in Costa Rica by comparing the current use of the agro-ecotourism label with its theoretical foundations based on the analysis of 68 projects in Costa Rica. In all these projects, tourism activities were combined with agriculture. The study found that just a few of the evaluated projects are following the characteristics presented by the agro-ecoturism definition while suggesting the need to establish a system of certification to differentiate agro-ecotourism projects from other kinds of tourism businesses.
Keywords: Agrotourism, agro-ecotourism, Costa Rica, certification.
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