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The price we pay: ecotourism’s contribution to conservation in Monteverde, Costa Rica

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Title:
The price we pay: ecotourism’s contribution to conservation in Monteverde, Costa Rica
Translated Title:
El precio que pagamos: contribución del ecoturismo a la conservación en Monteverde, Costa Rica ( )
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Book
Language:
English
Creator:
Haley, Corrie
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Subjects / Keywords:
Ecotourism--Economic aspects--Costa Rica   ( lcsh )
Natural resource management and policy   ( lcsh )
Ecoturismo--Aspectos económicos
Manejo de recursos naturales y política
Tropical Ecology 2006
Conservation
Ecotax
Ecología Tropical 2006
Conservación
Ecotasa
Genre:
Reports   ( lcsh )
Reports

Notes

Abstract:
Recent increase in travel has made tourism one of the highest revenue producing industries worldwide (Inman Draft). Ecotourism has grown in Costa Rica, due to the 5% of global biodiversity and high percentage of protected habitat that the country possesses (Inman Draft). Ecotourism is defined as contributing to the local communities as well as conservation of the natural habitats it is based. I conducted numerous surveys were conducted in Monteverde, Costa Rica, which is an area with ecotourism companies, hotels and restaurants. It was found that the reserves, ecotourism companies and organizations are contributing about 9.68% of their annual revenue to conservation of the Cloud Forest. Tourists were also surveyed in order to determine their willingness to pay for a high quality nature-based experience. It was determined that 97.5% of tourists are willing to pay if they are guaranteed their money is going directly to conservation and environmental education. I suggest that a voluntary ecotax will allow more ecotourism revenue to find its way to ongoing conservation efforts.
Abstract:
El aumento reciente en los viajes ha hecho del turismo una de las mayores industrias productoras de ingresos en todo el mundo (Borrador Inman). El ecoturismo ha crecido en Costa Rica, debido al 5% de la biodiversidad mundial y alto porcentaje del hábitat protegido que posee el país (Proyecto Inman). El ecoturismo se define como un contribuidor con las comunidades locales, así como la conservación de los hábitats naturales en que están basados. Lleve a cabo numerosas encuestas en Monteverde, Costa Rica, que es una zona con empresas de ecoturismo, hoteles y restaurantes.
Language:
Text in English.
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Born Digital

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Recent increase in travel has made tourism one of the highest revenue producing industries worldwide (Inman Draft). Ecotourism has grown in Costa Rica, due to the 5% of global biodiversity and high percentage of protected habitat that the country possesses (Inman Draft). Ecotourism is defined as contributing to the local communities as well as conservation of the natural habitats it is based. I conducted numerous surveys were conducted in Monteverde, Costa Rica, which is an area with ecotourism companies, hotels and restaurants. It was found that the reserves, ecotourism companies and organizations are contributing about 9.68% of their annual revenue to conservation of the Cloud Forest. Tourists were also surveyed in order to determine their willingness to pay for a high quality nature-based experience. It was determined that 97.5% of tourists are willing to pay if they are guaranteed their money is going directly to conservation and environmental education. I suggest that a voluntary ecotax will allow more ecotourism revenue to find its way to ongoing conservation efforts.
El aumento reciente en los viajes ha hecho del turismo una de las mayores industrias productoras de ingresos en todo el mundo (Borrador Inman). El ecoturismo ha crecido en Costa Rica, debido al 5% de la biodiversidad mundial y alto porcentaje del hbitat protegido que posee el pas (Proyecto Inman). El ecoturismo se define como un contribuidor con las comunidades locales, as como la conservacin de los hbitats naturales en que estn basados. Lleve a cabo numerosas encuestas en Monteverde, Costa Rica, que es una zona con empresas de ecoturismo, hoteles y restaurantes.
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Text in English.
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Ecotourism--Economic aspects--Costa Rica
Natural resource management and policy
4
Ecoturismo--Aspectos econmicos
Manejo de recursos naturales y poltica
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Tropical Ecology 2006
Conservation
Ecotax
Ecologa Tropical 2006
Conservacin
Ecotasa
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Reports
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CIEE
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t Monteverde Institute : Tropical Ecology
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u http://digital.lib.usf.edu/?m39.171



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The price we pay: Ecotourisms contribution to conservation in Monteverde, Costa Rica Corrie Haley Department of Environment and Natural Resources Economics, University of Rhode Island ABSTRACT Recent increase in travel has made tourism one of the highest revenue produc ing industries worldwide (Inman Draft). Ecotourism has grown in Costa Rica, due to the 5% of global biodiversity and high percentage of protected habitat that the country possesses (Inman Draft). Ecotourism is defined as contributing to the local communities as well as conservation of the natural habitats it is based. I conducted numerous surveys were conducted in Monteverde, Costa Rica, which is an area with ecotourism companies, hotels and restaurants. It was found that the reserves, ecot ourism companies and organizations are contributing about 9.68% of their annual revenue to conservation of the Cloud Forest. Tourists were also surveyed in order to determine their willingness to pay for a high quality nature-based experience. It was determined that 97.5% of tourists are willing to pay if they are guaranteed their money is going directly to conservation and environmental education. I sugg est that a voluntary ecotax will allow more ecotourism revenue to find its way to ongoing conservation efforts. RESUMEN El aumento reciente del viaje ha hecho la renta de turismo uno de la ms alta que produce de las industrias mundiales (Inman Draft). El ecoturismo ha crecido en Costa Rica, debido a la 5% de la biodiversidad global y el porcentaje alto del hbitat protegido que el pas posee (Inman Draft). El ecoturismo esta definido como contribuyendo a la cultura local y conservacin de los hbitates naturales que lo esta basado. Numerosas entrevistas llevaron a cabo en Monteverde Costa Rica, que es un rea con compaas de ecoturismo, los hoteles y los restaurantes. Fue encont rado que las reservas, las compaas del ecoturismo y organizaciones contribuyen acerca de 9, 68% de su renta anual a la cons ervacin del Bosque Nuboso. Los turistas se estuvieron entrevistados tambin para determinar su consentimiento a pagar por una experiencia naturaleza-basado de alta calidad. Fu e determinado que 97,5% de turistas est dispuesto a pagar si ellos son garantizados su dinero esta contri buyido directamente a conservacin y educacin ambiental. Sugiero que un ecotax voluntario permitir ms renta del ecoturismo pagar para esfuerzos progresivos de conservacin. INTRODUCTION Travel has increased with the rise of the global population and incomes. In 1990 it was estimated that $230 billion US dollars were spent by roughly 425 million international travelers, making tourism the fastest-growi ng industry on earth, with an annual growth rate of 9% (Isaacs 2000). Ecotourism is a re latively new concept of travel to natural areas with goals to sustain the local cultu re and contribute to conservation (Lindberg 2001). Hiking, canoeing, photography, observing wildlife and other similar activities that do not involve the taking of wildlife are cons idered ecotourism. According to Isaacs (2000), in the United States, 3,120,000 people spent US$222 million on observing, 1

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photographing and feeding wildlife in 1991, and overall total expenditures by birdwatchers surpassed all over ecotouris ts. In 1981 the to tal expenditures of birdwatchers was estimated to be $US20 million (Isaacs 2000). Costa Rica has success in attracting ecotourists due its high biodiversity. This small country contains an estimated 5% of the worlds species in the wide range of ecosystems (Inman Draft). In order to mainta in high numbers of ecotourists, it is in the best interest of the industry to use their revenue for the conservation of these highly biodiverse and profitable areas. Conservation consists of sensible and careful use of natural resources incl uding environmental education, la nd purchase, land protection and legal actions (Hunter 2002). The development of ecotourism is an experience-based market that depends on high quality natural areas. It is the hope of conservationists th at this market will provide funding for wildlife conservation as well (I saacs 2000). Even though conservation is purportedly funded by ecotourism, this is not al ways the case. In Nepals protected areas a mere 18% of the revenue generated by eco tourism was contributed to protection and management of the areas (Walpole et al. 2003) This study examines whether ecotourism is truly contributing to conser ving the natural environments upon which it capitalizes on. The purpose of this investigation was to determine whether revenue from ecotourism activities is being spent on conservation of the Cloud Forest in Monteverde, Costa Rica. Nadkarni and Wheelwright ( 2000) state that in 1992 about US$5 million was generated by the area through ecotour ism, yet only 13% was spent on the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, the largest natural attraction for tourists in the area. I am also investigating the per centage of profits th at ecotourism generates that is spent on conservation efforts such as environmental education, land purchase, land protection and legal actions. In orde r to ensure the future of the Cloud Forest, an increased amount of funding from ecotourism, the industry that utilizes it the most, is necessary. METHODS Study Site Monteverde, Costa Rica is one of the largest areas of privately owned reserves in the world, which contains about 29,000 hectares of protected hab itat (Cavanagh 2005; Weinberg et al. 2002). Within this protec ted area there are 100 species of mammals, 400 species of birds, 500 species of butterflies, 120 species of reptiles and amphibians, 2,500 species of plants, 500 species of trees and 1000s of insects can be seen (Nadkarni and Wheelwright 2000). The reserve is an ideal wi ldlife viewing area with its vast amount of biodiversity. In 1980, Monteverde became a prime destin ation for ecotourists and during this time of growth hotels and restaurants multiplied a significant amount. By 1998 there were 15 hotels and more than 20 smaller inns. In total there were 450 rooms and over 1000 beds for tourists. Hotels and restaura nts were followed by assorted gift shops, which sell multitudes of gifts, local crafts, books and postcards (Nadkarni and Wheelwright 2000). After the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserv e established a lim it to the number of visitors who could enter the reserve, there wa s further incentive for nature walks, tree 2

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canopy tours, horseback riding stables and othe r small businesses to open. The goals of these businesses were to serve as an e ducational function, promote conservation and sustainable development in the area as we ll as produce profit. Travel literature soon featured Monteverde as a must visit (N adkarni and Wheelwright 2000) when traveling to Costa Rica. This attracted higher numbers of tourists, who although had little knowledge of Monteverde, came with an awareness of the importance of rainforest conservation (Nadkarni and Wheelwright 2000). This zone contains a patchwork of private reserves such as, the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve and the Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve, as well as industries with private forest including Sky Walk Sky Trek, the Ecological Farm, and SelvaTura. The area is also saturated with hotels, eco -lodges and restaurant s, making it a suitable environment for my study. Conducting Surveys Information about revenue gained fro m nature based tourism by reserves, ecotourism companies and the Monteverde C onservation League was collected through interviews. These interviews were conducte d with the management of each of the selected locations. The reserves and companies include the major reserves and attractions with forest la ndholdings: the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, the Santa Elena Forest Reserve, Sky Walk Sky Trek, the Ecological Farm and SelvaTura. The survey used for interviews inquired about the number of tourists r eceived per year, how revenue is used, if any cont ributions to conservation are made and the importance of ecotourism to Monteverde. Concurrently, data collected through in-person in terviews with 40 tourists from 6 different locations in the M onteverde Zone took place; the Hotel Belmar, El Establo Hotel, the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserv e, the Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve, SelvaTura and La Pension de Santa Elena. Di fferent locations were chosen in order to ensure a broad spectrum of respondents; ranging from the luxury traveler to the backpacker on a budget. The data collected from the survey correlated to tourists stay in Monteverde in a financial manner. How much money is being spent by tourists on different aspects of their trip and their willingness to pay for nature-based activities is investigated. Using the Contingent Choice Method to Determine Willingness to Pay In order to accurately determine an indi viduals willingness to pay, the contingent choice method was used. This method involve s giving the participan t two options of a hypothetical situation and different prices accompanying the options to determine preference (Walpole et al. 2003). For this survey the method allowed a determination of how much respondents would pay to enter a described reserve. Two hypothetical reserves were described in the survey. On e reserve was represented as a well protected area, with education prior to entry on what trail to use and what may be seen in the reserve. The second reserve was described in the survey as being more disturbed and solely a reserve map would be received prior to entrance. Th e prices of the two reserves were then changed for each survey betw een US$10 and US$20, in order to determine 3

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how much a tourist would be w illing to pay. By using this indirect method a respondent is less inclined to lie about their preference and their willingness to pay could be determined (Biodiversity Advisory Committee 2005). RESULTS Ecotourisms Contribution to Conservation According to the interviews that were conducted regarding the reserves, ecotourism companies and the Monteverde Conservation League, only 9.68% of the annual revenue generated does return to the Cloud Fo rest. Annually, about US$5,620,982 is produced through ecotourism in Monteverde, yet onl y about US$544,315.40 is invested back into the Cloud Forest (Table 1). The largest cont ributor to conservation is the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve making up about 68.2% of the money, followed by the Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve, 17.1%, and lastly the Monteverde Conservation League contributes 14.7% to conservation. The Monteverde Conservation League, which attracts about 4,000 tourists annually (Figure 1), contributes all of its re venue from the Childrens Eternal Rainforest back into some form of conservation. These forms of conservation include administration, legal action and protection, as they currently do not have the funds for educational programs or expansion. The Sa nta Elena Cloud Forest Reserve works in conjunction with the community and the mone y generated from its 18,00 0 visitors yearly is divided between the Santa Elena High Sc hool and maintenance of the reserve. According to the administration of the Ecol ogical Farm (about 1,000 tourists annually), it does participate in some conservation such as donating money to the schools and reforestations projects. The Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve contributes 60% of the revenue it receives to protection of the reserve, research of the forest, visitors needs, administration and facilities. In 2004 this reserve rece ived about 74,000 tourists (K. Masters pers. Comm.). Conversely, Sky Walk Sky Trek, which receives 40,000 tourists a year, does not contribute to conservation efforts in Montever de, nor does it contri bute to environmental education. Also, SelvaTura receives the highest number of tourists per year, 78,000 visitors, and has the highest prices for entr ance fees for all of the ecotourism activities surveyed, yet it does not activel y participate in conservation. Tourist Distribution Tourists travel from all over the glob e to experience the Cloud Forest of Monteverde. Of the 40 travelers surveyed, 39% of them were from the United States of America, 14% from Canada, 12% from Spai n, 8% came from England and another 8% were from the Netherlands. Tourists from Germany composed 7% of the surveys while Sweden, South Africa, France and Scotland each composed 3% of the total distribution (Figure 2). Of the 40 tourists, who vacation to th e Monteverde Zone, 31% visited the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, 16% participated in SelvaTura, 14% visited the Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve, 8% participated in Sky Walk Sky Trek and 1% visited the 4

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Ecological Farm. 30% of the tourists who co mpleted the survey vi sited other ecotourism companies such as the Night Walk, Coffee Tours, the Monteverde Cheese Factory, the Canopy Tour, Childrens Eternal Rainforest and a variety of other attractions found in the area. Of the tourists that participated in the interviews, 32 visi ted more than one of ecotourism attractions on their v acation to Monteverde (Figure 3). Where are tourists spending their money? It is evident through the surveys that tourists have spent the most money for hotels, followed by ecotourism activities, a nd then meals. An average of US$68 118SD (n=40) is spent by travelers, who st ay a mean of 2.74 0.93SD (n=40) days, for hotels in the Monteverde area. US$68 is the highest expense, followed by an average of US$60 67.1SD (n=40) spent on participating in ecotourism activities. Meals comprise roughly US$42 45.1SD (n=40), only about US$20 30.15SD (n=40) is spent on souvenirs and transportation in the Monteverde Zone averages to be US$2 6.3SD (n=40) (Figure 4). Tourists Willingness to Pay for Conservation After inquiring about tourists willingne ss to pay for the hypothetical reserves presented, the results demonstrat e that 87.5% of the tourists we re willing to pay for a well protected forest. A reserve where the visito r is educated was pr eferred by 35 of the respondents, as opposed to a less protected, more disturbed forest, where little education takes place. The average price a tourist was willing to pay for an entrance fee was US$15 $3SD (n=40). Although 50% of the people woul d still pay for the less protected forest, 87.5% of the people were more willing to pay higher than the average price asked for the well protected forest (Figure 5). It was al so found that 97.5% of the people surveyed would pay an additional ecotax of US$1 if they were ensured that it would be contributed directly to conservation a nd environmental education. DISCUSSION Where has the money gone? It is evident from the data collected that ecotourism does not contribute as much as it could to the conservation of the Cloud Forest in Monteverde, Cost a Rica. About 9.68% of the annual revenue created from ecotourism is contributed to conservation efforts. This is a small percentage being used to protect the Cloud Forest, which is the major attraction for tourists. The money is used more to sustain the business than the resource upon which it relies. The majority of the m oney is being spent on hotels (~US$68) and even though the tourists trav el to Monteverde to see the Cloud Forest, yet the hotels contribution to conservation was not investigated in the study. Ecotourism activities are a close second with an average of (~US$60). The ecotourism companies that draw in the most visitors such as SelvaTura and Sky Walk Sky Trek do not contribute direct ly to conservation. In the case of SelvaTura, it is still paying for the land that comprises its park and is not interested in purchasing more land. 5

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Much of the revenue generated returns into the business aspects of the park. The Monteverde Cloud Forest Rese rve is one of the major t ourist attractions in the Monteverde area and contribute s 60% of its earnings to conservation, yet the other 40% was not accounted for during the survey. This leads to the specula tion that ecotourism can not be relied on as a flawless source of revenue to protect natural areas (Isaacs 2000). Tourists are Willing to Contribute As said by Walpole et al. (2003) econom ic estimation techniques have that the value visitors place on protected natural areas is usually a great deal higher than prices charged. Tourists are willing to pay more for an experience in the Cloud Forest than they presently are; especially if they know their money is directly effecting conservation and/or environmental education. Data show ed that 87.5% of tour ists surveyed were willing to pay higher entrance fees of up to $US20 for a well protected forest. A Proposition for the Future Based on the data collected through the su rveys, tourists are willing to pay for both conservation and nature-based education. An overwhelming percentage of tourists (97.5%) would readily pay US$1, if they were gu aranteed that it would be contributed to conservation efforts. This leads to the id ea of a voluntary ecotax of a flat rate in Monteverde. An ecotax is an additional fee added to a total price to pay for negative impacts caused by humans on the environment and influences ecological decisions of individuals (Backhaus 1998). The revenue cr eated from this environmental tax could provide money directly to conservation and environmental educati on. Due to the large number of visitors in the Monteverde area, an ecotax could contribu te a great deal to conservation of the Cloud Forest. The proposed ecotax could be a voluntary ad dition to the total price of hotel stays since a visitor would pay once for their stay in a hotel in Monteverde. A traveler would be more likely to contribute an ecotax once, in addition to their hotel fee as opposed for every meal they have in the area or for every entrance fee. Tourists could be notified of this option by providing them with various channels of information at the hotel reception regarding participation in the eco tax. 25% of the tourists interviewed were traveling with a packaged tour; therefore pack age tours could be given the op tion of participating in the ecotax as well. According to Inman (Draft), nature tourists are willing to spend more money than other tourists. With their willingne ss to pay to support the feasibility of this proposition, a great deal of money could be contributed. Even if only half of the visitors who trav eled to Monteverde participated in the ecotax over US$100,000 could be generated to c onserve the Cloud Forest. Profits from a voluntary ecotax would be most beneficial by funding the Childrens Eternal Rainforest. The data collected from the surveys suggest that the Monteverde Conservation League used the most of its revenue for conservation purposes, with approximately 100% of it going back into the forest. The addition of the ecotax earnings could help revive educational programs for the Childrens Eter nal Rainforest and allow the Monteverde Conservation League to purchase more land on the Pacific slope, which is in need of protection. Although this program would rely heavily on the participa tion of the hotels in 6

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Monteverde, an ecotax is a realistic solution. Tourists want to help conserve, they just need a conduit as to how. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS First and foremost I would like to thank Alan Masters for his spirited guidance as well as Camrynm and Tom for their patience and willingness to help in this project. Many thanks the Hotel Belmar, El Establo, the Santa El ena Cloud Forest Reserve, the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, SelvaTura, and La Pension de Santa Elena for allowing me to interview the tourists that were visiting in order to collect my data. I would also like to thank Sky Walk Sky Trek, the Ecological Farm, and the Monteverde Conservation League for participating in my surveys. Lastly, I would like to thank my fellow CIEE students for all the memorable moments; from the climb we will never forget to all our run-ins with la Policia. LITERATURE CITED Biological Diversity Advisory Committee. 2005. Making Economic Valuation Work for Biodiversity Conservation. Department of Environment and Heritage. Australia. < http://www.deh.gov.au/biodiversity/publications/economicvaluation/choice.html > Backhaus, Dr. Jrgen G. 1998. The Law and Economics of Environmental Taxation: When Should the Ecotax Kick In? Univer sity of Maastricht Netherlands. pp. 2-3 Cavanagh, Erin. 2005. Monteverde, Costa Rica: Balancing Environment and Development. Montev erde Institute. pp.1-18 Hunter, Malcolm L. 2002. Fundame ntals of conservation biology. Inman, Dr. Crist. Draft. Impacts on deve loping countries of changing production and consumption patterns in developed countri es: A case of ecotourism in Costa Rica. In: United Nations Environment Programme. pp. 1-56 Isaacs, Jack Coburn. 2000. The limited potential of ecotourism to contribute to wildlife conservation. Wildlife Society Bulletin. 28:61-69 Lindberg, Kreg. 2001. Tourist Consumption of Biodiversity: Market Characteristics and Effects on Conservation and Local Development. In: World Bank/OECD Workshop on Market Creation for Biodiversity Products and Services. 2001 January. Paris, France. pp. 1-32 Nadkarni, Nalini and Wheelwright, Nath aniel. 2000. Monteverde: Ecology and Conservation of a Tropical Cloud Forest Oxford University Press, New York, page 351-388 Walpole, Matthew J. et al. 2001. Pricing Policy for Tourism in Protected Areas: Lessons from Komodo National Park, I ndonesia. Conservation Biology. 15:218-227 Weinberg, A., S. Bellows and D. Ekster. 2002. Sustaining Ecotourism: Insights and Implications from Two Su ccessful Case Studies. Soci ety and Natural Resources. 15:371-380. 7

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TABLES Table 1 Average annual contribution to conservation through ecotourism activities in Monteverde, Costa Rica. The average entrance fee was used for each ecotourism activity. If it was there was not contribution or it was unc lear as to the percentage contributed to conservation 0% was used. Ecotourism companies/ Reserves/Organizations Average entrance fee paid (US$) Annual number of visitors Average annual revenue generated (US$) Contribution to conservation (%) Average annual contribution to conservation (US$) SelvaTura $50.10 29.1 SD (n=22) 78,000 $3,907,800 0% $0 Sky Walk Sky Trek $20.50 15.5 SD (n=6) 40,000 $820,000 0% $0 Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve $10.33 4.5 SD (n=3) 18,000 $185,940 50% $92,970 Ecological Farm $8.33 4.16 SD (n=3) 1,000 $8333 0% $0 Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve $8.36 5.4 SD (n=11) 74,000 $618,909 60% $371,345.40 Monterverde Conservation League (BEN) $20 11.5 SD (n=17) 4,000 $80,000 100% $80,000 Total 215,000 $5,620,982 $544,315.40 8

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FIGURES 4,000, 1.9% Figure 1 The yearly distribution of the num ber of tourists who visit the reserves, ecotourism activities an d the Monteverde Conservation League. The Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve (34.4%) is a major attract ion, along with SelvaTura (36.3%) and Sky Walk Sky Trek (18.6%). Figure 2 Global distribution of tourists visiting Monteverde, Costa Rica between 10/26/2006 and 11/14/2006. Tourists travel from developed c ountries with high incomes allowing them to afford international travel and a nature-based experience. 18,000, 8.4% 40,000, 18.6% 78,000, 36.3% Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve Sky Walk Sky Trek Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve Santuario Ecologico SelvaTura Monteverde Conservation League 1,000, 0.5% 74,000, 34.4%3% 3% 14% USA 39% Scotland Spain 8% Germany France England Netherlands Canada 8% South Africa Sweden 3% 3% 7% 12% 9

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16 8 14 1 2929 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 SelvaTuraSky Walk & Sky Trek Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve Ecological Farm Monteverde Cloud Forest Preserve OtherEcotourism ActivitiesNumber of Respondents Figure 3 Number of visitors who particip ate in ecotourism activities and reserves that are visited in Monteverde, Costa Rica between 10/26/2006 and 11/14/2006. Note that 29 of the 40 travelers surveyed visit th e Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, which contributes on 60% of its reve nue to maintenance of the f acilities and protected areas. SelvaTura, an ecotourism attraction that doe s not contribute to c onservation, attracted 16 of the tourists interviewe d during this time period. 10

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$20 $3 $68 $60 $42 $0 $10 $20 $30 $40 $50 $60 $70 $80 SouvenirsTransportationHotel Ecotourism Activities Meals How mone y is bein g spent in Monteverde Amount spent ($) Figure 4 Average amount of money spent by t ourists in Monteverde, Costa Rica between 10/26/2006 and 11/14/2006. Tourists spend an aver age of US$68 118 (n=40) on hotel stays, US$60 67.1 (n=40) on ecotourism activities and average of US $42 45.1 (n=40) is spent on meals. 11

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35 20 5 20 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 A B Reserve DescrbiedNumber of Respondents Yes No Figure 5 The number of respondents who were w illing to pay a given entrance fee for the hypothetical reserve described in the tourist su rvey. The entrance fees varied between US$10 and US$20. More respondents are willing to pay the higher cost for the well protected, diverse Reserve A, where they are educated as to where to go and what trails to use. Although Reserve B was more disturbed and only included a map, 50% of tourists were still willing to pay the entrance fee. 12

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APPENDIX A 13

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APPENDIX B Questionnaire #: _____ Tourist Survey Purpose: To collect data from tourists in orde r to determine how mu ch of the revenue from ecotourism is being spent on c onservation efforts in Monteverde, Costa Rica. Date: __________________ Location: ____________________________________ 1. What country are you from? _______________________________ 2. How many people are you traveling with? ______________ 3. What is the reason for your stay here in Monteverde (i.e. vacation, education, research, etc.)? ________________________________________________ 4. How long is your stay? __________________________ 5. Approximately how much have you spen t on the following(in the Monteverde area): a. Souvenirs? $______ b. Transportation? $______ c. Hotels? $______ d. Eco-Tours and Entrance fees? $_______ e. Meals? $_______ 6. What Eco-tours or activitie s have you participated in here in Monteverde? a. SelvaTura ___ b. Sky Walk and Sky Trek ___ c. Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve ___ d. Ecological Farm ___ e. Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve ____ f. Other ______________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________ ________________________ 7. Are you here on your own or with a packaged tour? _______________________ 8. Of the two options, which would you be most likely to choose? Forest A : A well protected old growth and partia lly regenerated forest, with a dense canopy, numerous species of birds, monkeys lizards as well as other small vertebrates and invertebrates. Prior to ente ring the forest you are educated as to what you may see, which of the dirt trails to use and general forest e tiquette. For this experience you will have to pay an entrance fee of $______. 14

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YES NO Forest B : A mixture of old growth forest and regenerated forest, with a dense canopy at times, many birds of the same species, some monkeys, and a few other small vertebrates and invertebrates. After paying your entrance f ee of $_____, you enter the wide, paved trails with a map of the reserve. YES NO 9. Would you be willing to pay an addi tional $1 contributi on (ecotax) for conservation or environmental education? __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ Ecotourism Survey Purpose: To collect data from ecotourism comp anies and organizations in order to determine how much of the revenue from ecotourism is being spent on conservation efforts in Monteverde, Costa Rica. Date:_______________________ Company/Organization Name:_______________________________________________ 1. How would you define Ecotourism? ____________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________ 2. On average how many tourists are received per year?_________________ 3. How much do you charge for your services? _______________________ 4. Is any portion contributed to conserva tion efforts (education, preservation, protection, legal action)? Yes No ____________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________ 5. Do you receive money from other sources? a. Donated? ____ b. Grants?____ c. Other:________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________ _____________________________________ 15

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16 6. How is your revenue divided in or der to sustain your business? ____________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________ 7. If the number of tourists visiting pe r year were to almost double would you contribute more of your profit towards environmental education? YES NO 8. If the number of tourists visiting per year were to almost double would you contribute more of your profit towards expanding your reserve/conservation of forest? YES NO 9. How important is ecotourism to the economy of Monteverde? ____________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________