Every year more than two million tourists visit Costa Rica and over half of them are headed to the beach to relax, to frolic in the waves, or go surfing. Since infrastructure is limited along the coast, the extra beachgoers can put a strain on natural resources and cause excess pollution if the tour operators are not aware of how to lessen their impact on the coastal ecosystem.
The following is a set of guidelines created by Andrea Tantamjarik for Costa Rica surf tour operators, adapted from principles of the Surfrider Foundation (Gordon, 2003, pers. comm.), The International Ecotourism Society (http://www.ecotourism.org), Tour Operators’ Initiative (http://toinitiative.org), and the Eco Certification Program from Australia (http://www.ecotourism.org.au/neap.asp):