Sustainable Tourism Law

Sustainable Tourism: the Costa Rica Case Hermes Navarro del Valle Chief of the Tourism Investment Department of the Costa Rica Tourism Institute Former President of the National Sustainable Tourism Certification Commission of Costa Rica I. INTRODUCTION Fortunately, in the last decade tourism activity has focused its attention mainly on aspects linked to tourism’s sustainability, giving importance to the implications of the impact generated by the activity on the environment and the cultural base of the communities directly benefited by this industry. The aggravation of the worldwide ecological and social crises has had a significant impact on human consciousness and, therefore, has fully impacted in recent years the rapid growth experienced by a type of tourism with a naturalistic perspective, up to the point of promoting change in the habits and expectations of tourists worldwide. II. TOURISM SUSTAINABILITY Tourism Sustainability is not only an idea or a response to the current demand, but it must be understood as a decisive condition to successfully compete today and in the future. Sustainability, as a model for development, establishes the need to satisfy the current needs of our society without endangering the needs of future generations. The development of sustainable tourism must be seen as the balanced interaction between the appropriate use of our natural and cultural resources, which help improve the quality of life of the inhabitants of the local communities and the economic success of the activity, in order to contribute to the national development. Costa Rica has achieved its international position in the tourism field through sustainability as a basis for its differentiated offer, developing from the start a