Andrew P. Miller, Assistant Professor at Wilkes University, Publishes Book “Ecotourism Development in Costa Rica”
WILKES-BARRE, PA. (Oct. 11, 2012) – Andrew P. Miller, assistant professor of political science at Wilkes University, has published “Ecotourism Development in Costa Rica: The Search for Oro Verde.” The book examines the use of ecotourism as a development strategy in Costa Rica and its applicability to other Central American states. The book is published by Lexington Books.
The use of ecotourism as a development strategy is distinctive. For ecotourism to succeed, it must preserve the natural environment, but it must do so in a way that does not preclude growth in other sectors of the economy. Miller’s book examines how the successful pursuit of foreign direct investment coupled with Costa Rica’s immense biodiversity and its attractiveness to tourists is key to understanding the success of the Costa Rican economy.
John Booth, Latin American scholar and political science professor at the University of North Texas, praised Miller in his review of the book. Booth claims, “Andrew Miller has written a fine book on Costa Rican ecotourism. He reviews the country’s political and economic development, then explains ecotourism and how it fits into Costa Rica’s development strategy. Miller’s readable and balanced work avoids mystification of both Costa Rica and ecotourism by also highlighting risks and some of the flaws in ecotourism and the country’s environmental performance. I highly recommend this book.”
Miller has visited Costa Rica several times for research and while leading study and service learning trips for Wilkes University students. He first became interested in the use of ecotourism as a development strategy because, while so many other economic development strategies fail, Costa Rica has experienced economic growth that is easily the best in Central America. Finding ways to apply this success to other similar areas has become a goal for Miller.
Miller will be teaching a class, Ecotourism Development in Costa Rica, during the first summer session at Wilkes University. The course partners with the Chamber of Commerce in El Coco, Costa Rica to assist with developing their ecotourism development plan. The course lasts four weeks; the first week is spent on campus preparing for the trip, the second and third weeks are in Costa Rica, and the fourth week is back on campus.
Miller expects to release another book in December 2013 titled, “Globalization, Neoliberalism and Ecotourism Development,” which will examine the applicability of the Costa Rican model of development to Panama, Belize and Nicaragua.