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Whale watching tourism in Costa Rica sees significant growth

Recent figures, confirmed by Costa Rica's Institute for Tourism, show a tripling of the number of holidaymakers who have visited Costa Rica for whale watching. This significant increase not only highlights the importance of whale tourism, but also underscores Costa Rica's formidable position in the eco-friendly holidays market.

Whale watching tourism in Costa Rica sees significant growth

Whale watching is fast becoming one of the key pull factors for travellers when booking their holidays in Costa Rica. Recent figures, puts the number of travellers who visited Costa Rica in 2013 to witness the majestic hump back whales in action at 131,373.

This figure, which has been verified by Costa Rica's Institute for Tourism (ICT), is a significant improvement over the 43 302 recorded in 2010. With the number of visitors tripling in just three short years, there is little doubt as to the potential whale watching holds, especially as Costa Rica aims to continuously strengthen its position within the eco friendly holidays market.

"For us, conservation is great business. It allows us to generate resources for the community and for new businesses to grow and thrive."

Noted Fernando Guerrero from the Association of Tourism Operators in Bahia Ballena.

In fact, Bahia Ballena is one community in Costa Rica that recognizes the importance of developing Costa Rica's whale tourism industry sustainably with 90 per cent of the community's economy dependent on whale watching, including; local hotels, restaurants, local artists and craftsmen and even transport services.

As part of their efforts to continuously develop an eco friendly approach to whale tourism, Mr. Guerrero and his organization recently held the 6th annual Dolphin and Whale Festival aimed at spreading awareness and promoting non-lethal treatment of dolphins and whales.

Costa Rica is fortunate enough to be the only country to welcome not just one but two distinct populations of the humpback whale to its waters, one coming from Baja California to Guanacaste typically in the months between December and March and the second coming from Antarctica to Osa during the July to October period.

In addition to visiting Costa Rica for the once in a lifetime opportunity to see the humpback whales, eco tourism enthusiasts will be pleased to learn that Costa Rica has a lot more to offer with an estimated one third of its land designated national parks and reserves. The Arenal Volcano National Park, the Tortuguero National Park and the Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve are just some of the destinations that make Costa Rica the top choice not only for whale watching but also for an unforgettable nature filled holiday.

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