|miércoles, 09 de noviembre de 2005|
Some 75 companies from all around the country will display their offer during the Fourth Communal Rural Tourism Fair, to be held the coming days of November 18-19- 20, at the Costa Rican Art Museum.
The activity will be joined by multiple
cultural and artistic activities, such as music performances, theater plays, and masquerades, exhibition of traditional ox carts and sampling of typical foods.
Companies related to the sector producing environmentally friendly articles –from recycled paper articles to products designed to prolong food freshness- will also be shown at the Fourth Fair’s premises.
The activity is a joint effort of the small communal companies and cooperative associations agglutinated under the Communal Rural Tourism Association (Actuar), the National Cooperative Syndicate Ecotourism Network (Cooprena) and the National Rural Executive Board.
On this occasion, the fair is actively supported by the Costa Rican Tourist Board (ICT), the United Nations Program for Development (PNUD) and the Central American Association for Economy, Health and the Environment (Acepesa).
Tourism with a Social Sense
World tourism activity is experiencing approximately a 10% growth annually that generates employment for 200 million workers and has mobilized resources of the magnitude of 177.000 million dollars in 2004, only in developing countries.
In Costa Rica, the revenues by tourism activities reached the record figure of 1.357 million dollars last year, very much above the value for our traditional exports (coffee, bananas and sugar), which were 793,8 million.
On 2004, the number of foreign visitors was 1,4 million, representing a growth of 17,3% as compared to the previous year.
This extraordinary dynamism of the tourism industry means economic development for the country in general, but it should also be a tool for the development of communities and improvement of the quality of life of its members.
Such is the meaning of communal rural tourism, which has been growing and creating satisfaction for an increasing tourist demand.
Communal rural tourism requires the participation of various families or the community as a whole so that it can be articulated as a complete product, as a unit, that can consequently participate from the benefits generated by the industry.
This type of tourism also involves the concept of responsible management of the natural surroundings, so that it can be a sustainable activity in itself, contributing to strengthen an ecological culture.
These characteristics satisfy one of the goals defined by the Costa Rican State, in the 2002-2012 General Plan of Sustainable Tourism Development, where the “tourism development shall contribute against any form of social deterioration, generating economic benefits, protecting the environment and respecting the Costa Rican culture and values” is formulated.
A New Concept
This type of offer is being supplied by cooperative associations, associations of producers, conservationist associations, groups of women and foundations of our country, conscious that an ever growing number of visitors is looking for alternatives other than the mass tourism offered by corporative companies.
This new kind of tourist is oriented to enjoy from the natural environment, farm life, hikes, fresh water fishing, the peculiarities represented by autochthonous culture, as well as adventure and the practice of sports.
The Fourth Communal Rural Tourism Fair will be an opportunity to learn about the ample diversity of this offer, in an atmosphere of great scenic beauty: the gardens of the Costa Rican Art Museum; and the intense artistic, cultural y recreational activities.