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Posted April 12, 2023

By Dr. Auliana Poon

2 Minutes Read


From Paradise to Preservation: How the Caribbean can Build Sustainable Tourism – Costa Rica Style!
This image was developed by AI technology and is used for illustrative purposes only and does not depict factual events.

Learning from Costa Rica’s Model

Costa Rica may be a model for sustainable tourism, but it’s not the only destination that can benefit from its approach. In fact, small island developing states like those in the Caribbean face many of the same challenges when it comes to sustainable development. With limited resources and fragile ecosystems, it’s more important than ever to adopt a holistic approach to sustainable tourism.

Like Costa Rica, the Caribbean can make sustainability a part of its DNA. Think of it like a family tree – each branch represents a different aspect of society, from local communities to government agencies and private businesses. By working together and sharing a common vision, the Caribbean can create a culture of sustainability that benefits everyone.

A Holistic Approach to Sustainable Tourism: Balancing Environment, Community, and Economy

Sustainable tourism in the Caribbean is about much more than just preserving natural resources. It’s like a puzzle – every piece must fit together to create a complete picture. Similarly, sustainable tourism requires a holistic approach that considers the environment, the community, and the economy. By balancing these three pillars of sustainability, the Caribbean can create a tourism industry that is both environmentally and socially responsible.

Small Island Developing States and the Challenges of Sustainable Tourism

One of the biggest challenges for small island developing states is balancing the needs of the tourism industry with the fragile ecosystems on which they depend. It’s like walking a tightrope – one wrong step can have devastating consequences. However, by adopting Costa Rica’s model of sustainable tourism, the Caribbean can create a balance between tourism and conservation that benefits both visitors and locals.

This image was developed by AI technology and is used for illustrative purposes only and does not depict factual events.

Creating a Culture of Sustainability: Education and Community Involvement in the Caribbean

Education and community involvement are key to making sustainability a part of the Caribbean’s DNA. It’s like a seed that needs to be planted and nurtured. By educating locals and visitors alike about the importance of environmental conservation, and involving local communities in sustainable tourism initiatives, the Caribbean can create a generation of environmentally conscious citizens who will continue to prioritize sustainability for years to come.

Implementing Sustainable Tourism Practices: Lessons from Costa Rica’s Success.

Small island developing states in the Caribbean can also learn from Costa Rica’s success in developing policies and guidelines that ensure sustainable tourism practices are implemented. It’s like a recipe – every ingredient must be carefully measured and mixed together to create a delicious end result. By creating a framework that emphasizes sustainable practices and holds businesses accountable for their actions, the Caribbean can create a tourism industry that is both profitable and responsible.

In conclusion, small island developing states in the Caribbean can learn a lot from Costa Rica’s approach to sustainable tourism. By adopting a holistic approach that balances the environment, the community, and the economy, and by emphasizing education and community involvement, the Caribbean can create a sustainable tourism industry that benefits everyone. Just like in Costa Rica, sustainable tourism can become a part of the Caribbean’s DNA, creating a brighter future for generations to come.

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About the Author:

Dr. Auliana Poon
Managing Director/Chief Strategist
Leve Global

auliana poon

Dr. Auliana Poon heads Leve-Global.  She is a courageous and passionate businesswoman. A trained Economist, Dr. Poon is a management consultant and strategist with a focus on sustainable and responsible tourism, climate adaptation, and regenerative economic development. Dr. Poon led teams that developed innovative economic solutions for over 50 countries around the world including Australia, Barbados, the Bahamas, Iceland, Indonesia, Jamaica, Mauritius, Mozambique, Singapore, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Switzerland and Zambia.

An experienced researcher and analyst with fiercely independent thought, Dr Poon believes that developing countries cannot continue to compete with natural attributes – Sun, Sand, Sea, Oil and Natural Gas alone.  For success and sustainability, a more people-centred, culture-oriented, innovation-based, sustainability-directed, technology-focused and talent-driven approach is needed. 

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