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Tourism Board program promotes women’s safety when traveling

The Costa Rica Tourism Board (ICT) last week launched the SOFIA Network, a program designed to promote gender equity in the tourism industry.

The program’s goal is “to contribute to each female tourist exploring and enjoying Costa Rica while feeling safe at all times,” according to the ICT.

Companies or individuals associated with the tourism industry can participate in free virtual courses meant to support gender equality and safe environments for travelers. If 80% of a business’s employees take the online learnings, the company itself can receive a SOFIA Network badge.

The U.S. Embassy in Costa Rica says it partnered with the ICT, the National Tourist Security Council (CONSETUR) and the National Women’s Institute (INAMU) to create guidebooks for the SOFIA Network.

“These guides will contribute to enhancing security for women travelers,” a U.S. Embassy statement reads. “The guides represent tourism operators’ commitment to sustainable tourism offerings in different areas in Costa Rica.”

“The guides are a complement to the new Costa Rican SOFIA Network program, which tourism companies can join to bring together people, companies, and tourists who share common values of gender equality, tourist safety, and sustainability.”

The U.S. State Department advises that visitors to Costa Rica “exercise increased caution in Costa Rica due to crime.”

“While petty crime is the predominant threat for tourists in Costa Rica, violent crime, including armed robbery, homicide and sexual assault, occurs in Costa Rica,” the State Department notes.

“The Costa Rican government provides additional security resources in areas frequented by tourists.”

For more information about the SOFIA Network or to participate, click here.

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