Tourism and Sustainable Development - Pura Vida

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SUSTAINABLE TOURISM DEVELOPMENTAnna LeibinaProf. Joad Lopez12th of October, 2020
To understand the culture in Costa Rica, you need to start with the country’s motto:“Pura Vida.” Translated as “pure life,” it embodies many aspects of the Costa Rican lifestyle.The country is an eco-friendly destination, and environmentalism is an important part ofCosta Rican culture. The country has around 5% of the entire world’s biodiversity.CostaRicans value these national treasures and have protected about 25% of their land in forestsand reserves.The slowdown in the region's economies and political uncertainty are changing theway the Ticos (local people) consume behavior in Costa Rica. According “In recent years the factors affecting this country are related toexcess public spending, currency depreciation, and political uncertainty” (Changes in theconsumer behavior, 2019). As well currently it has been affected by Covid-19. This does notdescribe the consumer but it has a direct impact on the purchasing behavior. In addition to,accordingly the study, consumers are looking for ways to postpone long-term expenses suchas a home remodeling, change of vehicle, in addition to reducing the waste of resources inentertainment, outings to restaurants, vacations, among others. (Changes in the consumerbehavior, 2019). People are looking for alternatives in products and services. The studyrevealed that more than half of consumers consider changing brands or are evaluating them,that is, they are looking for new alternatives to achieve some remnants and focus on others.Furthermore, according tothe 2016 Consumer Profile (Perfil del Consumidor) study, thereare 4 types of consumers in Costa Rica. The first, smart, is reportedly witty for beinginformed and comparing before shopping, enjoys shopping, and rarely changes the places tobuy or brands. Despite this behavior, is an impulsive shopper when it comes to deals orpromotions. The next one is the listless consumer is not interested in shopping and does not
enjoy it. When making a purchase he/she is committed to the same brands (or location) and isunwilling to change. However,a study commissioned by the Financial Intelligence Unit of ElFinanciero nowadays revealed that Ticos are not as loyal to businesses and brands as theywere before, 44% only buy when prices are low and think that all establishments sell thesame thing.Moreover, they are guided by “If it pollutes, don't buy it!”Before this was theattitude of a third of all Ticos, now it is held by the majority. When 56 % of consumers knowthat a company pollutes the environment, they avoid buying. Hence, we are coming to thethird type of the consumer - the experimentalist and demanding, looks for quality above alleven if it means paying a little more, therefore, is informed and compares before making theirpurchases. Though they are tempted by promotions and deals but are not impulsive. Finally,there is a satisfied consumer who enjoys shopping and also considers the quality; however, isnot motivated by deals or promotions and believes that all establishments will satisfy. (Thefour types of consumers in Costa Rica, 2016)Domestic tourism is a very important part of the country. Around 574 000 familiestravel around Costa Rica yearly (Tourism Figures, 2019). Nowadays, Ticos have moretendency to follow the sustainable and eco-tourism on the same range as the internationaltourists, and spend their time on the beach that has a “blue flag”.Yet,consumer behaviour isbased in different cultural contexts. In designing sustainable consumption policies or tools,such as labels or communication campaigns, it is important that they reflect these culturalcontexts. To effectively promote sustainable consumption, it is important to have a long-term,forward-looking vision of sustainable lifestyles.Ticos environmental knowledge influencestheir behavior as they are more likely to buy and go green, or sustainable by any means. Eco-tourism has been a pillar for Costa Rica’s economy, being one of the first countries to explorethe link between travelling, nature, and wildlife. At an international level, the Republic ofCosta Rica has been recognized as one of the best, if not the best, eco-friendly destination.
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