Protected areas and their communities benefited from the sustainable tourism program with a budget of $25 million, which included organized community groups and the creation of productive chains, according to the National System of Conservation Areas (SINAC).
An example of this was a trail suspended on stilts built at the Caño Negro Mixed National Wildlife Refuge, whose objective was to provide visitors with a unique natural platform for bird watching.
This type of infrastructure, designed to foster the link between conservation, tourism and local development, would not have been possible without the Project for Strengthening the Sustainable Tourism Program in Protected Wild Areas, also known as IDB Tourism, which benefited ten other protected areas,”
said SINAC in a statement.
Guisselle Méndez Vega, coordinator of the BID Tourism project, commented that
the essence of the program was to strengthen sustainable tourism based on improvements in tourism infrastructure within protected areas and facilitating agreements with municipal governments and communities,”
said the official.
The beneficiary areas were the Caño Negro Mixed National Wildlife Refuge and the Arenal Volcano National Park, Cahuita, Corcovado, Irazú Volcano, Manuel Antonio, Poás Volcano, Rincón de la Vieja, Tenorio Volcano and Tortuguero.
Approximately 60% of the total amount of US $25 million was allocated to infrastructure sites such as interpretive trails, observation platforms, restrooms, changers and infrastructure for accessibility, among other items designed to increase the attractiveness and appreciation of natural areas.
The remaining 40% was invested in the other two components of the project, one of sustainable tourism management and another of institutional strengthening. These resources focused on improving capacities for the administrative management of protected areas, as well as technical support and assistance to municipal governments where beneficiary areas are located, as well as community development committees and local tourism initiatives and productive links near the parks.