This ethnographic project examines the economic and social influences of tourism, specifically ecotourism, on the local communities of Costa Rica. The proposed research seeks to investigate the effects of ecotourism on the environment and quality of life for residents in Costa Rica while demonstrating the importance of sustainable development in relation to the ecotourism sector. The primary purpose of this research is to view the impact of ecotourism on Costa Rican society, with a particular focus on culture, economics, the environment, and specifically from the perspectives of local Costa Rican residents. Ultimately this paper will define what ecotourism is and what it means to Costa Rica. The proposed research will explore the following questions: (1) How does ecotourism and sustainable development relate to one another? (2) How do the impacts of conventional tourism compare to those of ecotourism? (3) How does ecotourism effect the Costa Rican environment and its wildlife? (4) How does ecotourism affect the economy and quality of life for Costa Rican residents? (5) What impact does ecotourism have on the country's culture?
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