The Costa Rican Tourism Institute (ICT by its acronym in Spanish) is globally recognized for being a destination that bets on sustainable tourism as a differentiating and fundamental element, evolving year after year to a more comprehensive conceptualization that promotes the establishment of ecological and environmental awareness in tourism companies.
The global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) manages Criteria, global standards for sustainability in travel and tourism, and provides international accreditation for Sustainable Tourism Certification Bodies.
The main advantage in obtaining this award for Costa Rica is the increased international credibility of the standard, which is aligned with universal criteria for sustainable management, social and economic benefits for the local community, preservation of cultural heritage and reduction of pollution.
“The global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) is one of the most important bodies in its branch, receiving this news about the Tourism Sustainability Certificate officializes that our technical tool meets the highest standards”, explained Virgilio Espinoza, head of the Department of certifications and social responsibility by the ICT.
Country gains credibility
The global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) the aim of its programmes is to reward the true professionals of sustainable tourism, which in turn generates confidence and credibility with consumers, thus allowing the Tourism Sustainability Certificate standard to be validated as a global sustainability standard through its criteria.
According to the The global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC), the fundamental pillars of the criteria are the social, cultural and environmental impact, as well as the management of sustainability, elements that are intertwined and coincide with the pillars that gave life to the Tourism Sustainability Certificate standard created by the ICT.
The great wealth of biodiversity, as well as the commitments it has made as a country with sustainability, the preservation of species and natural beauties, place Costa Rica among the best destinations to travel this year 2020. According to the latest edition of Lonely Planet’s “Best in Travel” annual guide, the nation is ranked number six.
According to the ICT, the publication highlights Costa Rica on the list of sustainable tourism globally and shows the country’s great biodiversity, which attracts tourists to see sleepy sloths and red-eyed frogs. He also mentions that the local phrase “Pura Vida” is more than a saying, it is a way of life among Costa Ricans. The guide also points to the fact that Costa Rica aspires to become one of the first countries in the world to eliminate carbon emissions by 2050, as set out this year in the National Decarbonization Plan.
Impact of Tourism beyond our borders
Sustainable tourism or ecotourism seeks to reduce its environmental impacts and contribute to the conservation process. This allows tourists to travel to natural destinations, creates environmental awareness, respects local culture and empowers the population.
According to the latest data from the ICT, during the period 2019 (January to December) more than 62,000 Spaniards visited Costa Rica by air, a situation that places Spain as the fourth emitting market for tourists coming from Europe.
Among the most frequent and favorite activities they carry out are focused on the practice of sustainable tourism and stand out the observation of flora and fauna (82%), the enjoyment of the sun and the beach (75%), the walks along trails (69%), the visit to volcanoes (53%), among others.