Disruption of Ecotourism: Eruption of Disease

Cloud forests and rainforests are both present in the mountains of Costa Rica, but are in many ways very different. The cloud forest of Monteverde is higher in elevation than the rainforest in Arenal. The cloud forest has clouds passing through the floor of the forest, was much cooler than the rainforest, and had epiphytes covering the trees. Both forests have a great number of animals which are specific to the region and they both are extremely unique to Costa Rica’s environment. In addition, both forests have a lot of rainfall and are very dense with large-leafed trees and plants.

The diverse and beautiful environment of Costa Rica makes tourism very popular. In Arenal, tourists are able to choose from a wide variety of activities. Arenal features activities for all tourists whether they are traveling for ecological, scientific, adventure, and/or cultural tourism.

Although there are many different activities available, adventure tourism businesses in Arenal struggle with competition. There are many different tourism businesses in Arenal and many of them provide similar experiences for tourists. As a result of the abundance of these businesses, tourists have many options for what company to use. This causes business to be limited for each company since the population of tourists can be more evenly distributed among the tourism companies.

The global pandemic has affected the tourism business even more than just competition. Some impacts a global pandemic has on tourism companies may be obvious such as less customers (due to travel restrictions or a customer’s personal safety concerns), decrease in revenue, increased costs, and increased employee redundancy. These tourist businesses have responded to the COVID-19 pandemic mostly by taking advantage of government assistance; the tourism businesses accept money from the government which is being given out during some period of economic decline. Although government assistance was the largest means for staying in-business there are still alternate methods. Tourism companies could have increased their online presence: this would keep tourists thinking about their business and planning to come after the pandemic ends. So, this would ensure customers after the pandemic has ended. Tourism companies could also redevelop their offered service into a different service which may reach more people. For example, a tourism company may redevelop their service to be more interesting to locals, so that even though they can’t get foreign tourists, they can still get the locals which are living in the area.

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