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Costa Rica Economy: A Snapshot

Tourism and the Costa Rica economy are closely tied since its the country's lush scenery draws thousands of visitors a year. Due to its success in this arena, Costa Rica has been garnering a lot of notice lately for how it has been shaping itself as a country. It has become known as an environmentally conscious nation with a focus on eco-tourism. Moreover, in the last 15 years the Costa Rica economy has drastically improved, seeing a reduction in poverty levels and the development of a sort of social "safety net" for the people of Costa Rica. The economy of Costa Rica has been so exemplary that many developing nations are looking at it as something that they would like to emulate.

The Costa Rica economy is thriving because of its varied sources of revenue. Costa Rica has flourishing banana and coffee industries that export their products to bring in substantial revenue to the country. Both the banana and the coffee industry have not only created revenue, but they have also increased the manufacturing industry in Costa Rica which consequently creates more jobs for Costa Rican citizens. This has contributed to Costa Rica's goal of moving toward a diverse economy that focuses on trading goods, with agricultural revenue in third behind technology production and the country's number one earner - tourism. Of course there are also external tariffs that have facilitated the manufacturing growth, and this modest and planned growth has allowed the economy to flourish without compromising as much of its beauty and integrity as it might have through pursuing a more aggressive approach.

Great portions of land in Costa Rica are dedicated to farming though land ownership is not equally distributed. The top one percent of farmers hold the majority of the agricultural land. The types of farming in Costa Rica are however diversified between fruit production, cattle, and coffee. Banana plantations are incredibly abundant and they have been a large part of the Caribbean farming industry since the late 1800's. Additionally, cattle represent an important segment of the country's agricultural production. In fact, over 70% of the agricultural land in Costa Rica is dedicated to cattle farming. Of course when discussing Costa Rican agriculture you cannot ignore the coffee trade. Costa Rica ranks 13th on the list of the worlds top coffee producers, and many people believe that Costa Rican coffee is far superior to other producers. However, despite the fact that agriculture accounts for a large chunk of the Costa Rica economy that 80% has actually dropped to 40% today. Tourism has made up the difference in the last several years.

Tourism has become the number one source of revenue for Costa Rica. It was really in the early 1990's that this started to overtake the revenue that agriculture brought into the country. Costa Rica has become a favorite among travelers, and that is part of the reason that tourism has had such a positive impact on the Costa Rica economy. Costa Rica has a lot to offer visitors. When you travel to Costa Rica you can expect beautiful temperatures for most of the year. Additionally, the landscape is lush and beautiful, offering many different types of adventure activities to keep tourists engaged. These qualities coupled with the relative security and stability of Costa Rica's government compared to other Central American countries are the reasons that so many tourists choose to visit Costa Rica. Amazingly, the country receives over one million visitors every year. That translates to over a $1 billion injection of revenue into Costa Rica economy.

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