Masters Thesis

Resisting Mass Tourism: Local Strategies and Challenges to Maintain Sustainable Development in Nosara, Costa Rica

Increasing tourism in Nosara, Costa Rica brings along more challenges for sustainable development of the community. as local resources become stressed and overdevelopment interferes with wildlife, the community is continuously developing strategies to mitigate environmental degradation and include the local population to benefit of the ecotourism industry. Using mixed methods, this thesis is examining the current challenges that Nosara is facing and the strategies that are in place to guarantee sustainable development. the research for this study was done through semi-structured interviews with employees of the hospitality industry and non-governmental organizations in Nosara. Questionnaires were used to gather information about tourists visiting Nosara. Additionally, secondary sources were used to identify the overall development goals of the tourism industry of Costa Rica. the current challenges in Nosara were identified as the lack of commitment from the local authorities to protect pristine beaches and wildlife, as well as neglecting the waste collection. Sustainable development in Nosara is only prevalent because of the voluntary actions taken by some local hotels, restaurants, and the many NGOs located in town. Future development strategies need to focus on more education of local businesses and a better motivated and willing governmental authority to support sustainable development in Nosara.

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