Faculty members and researchers with the Rosen College of Hospitality Management are reaching out to develop and sustain Costa Rica’s tourism industry through agriculture.

Drs. Po-Ju Chen, Robertico Croes and Kevin Murphy set the wheels in motion when they presented a paper at the University of Costa Rica’s International Symposium on Tourism, held Nov. 21-23, 2011. The work was entitled “Agriculture and Tourism – A Slow Food Model to Promote Sustainable Local Agriculture Products to Help the Poor in Latin America through Tourism.”

As a result of the paper, the Rosen College’s Dick Pope Institute for Tourism Studies has entered into a letter of intent with the University of Costa Rica’s (UCR’s) Tourism School to cooperate on a grant to fund a study. The research will focus on the promotion of sustainable local agriculture products to help the poor in Latin America through tourism.

UCR and UCF have a university-wide agreement to exchange research, teaching and cooperation. Currently, Rosen College is assisting UCR with their graduate curriculum development. Drs. Chen, Croes and Murphy have met with the following UCR representatives to discuss the project: Director of UCR Pacific Campus, Dr. Susan Chen Mok; Director of the Tourism College, Jorge Bartels Villanueva; and Director of the Tourism Graduate Program, Oriester Abarca Hernandez.

According to the Slow Food USA website, “Slow Food is an idea, a way of living and a way of eating. It is part of a global, grassroots movement with thousands of members in over 150 countries, which links the pleasure of food with a commitment to community and the environment.”  For more, please visit http://www.slowfoodusa.org.