Nowadays, sustainability plays a huge role in deciding vacation spots, hotels, restaurants, and packages. Many businesses advertise themselves as eco-friendly or sustainable, and it can be tough to determine whether they comply with the requirements.
The Costa Rican Tourism Institute (ICT) developed a certification that can help tourists identify those businesses that are, in fact, sustainable.
The Certification of Sustainable Tourism
The primary purpose of this certification is to verify that companies have effectively installed practices that positively impact the environment and the community. In addition, it is a technical tool aimed at strengthening sustainable tourism in Costa Rica.
Companies receive this award as a recognition of their excellent management and work to mitigate the impacts of their operations. The certification strengthens social, cultural, environmental, economic, and development work in tourist destinations.
These services are evaluated to obtain the certificate:
- Land transportation
- Water transportation
- Tour operation with subcontracting
- Rent a cars
- Theme Park
- Institutions or organizations
- Coastal marine operation tour
- Protected areas (public or private)
- Direct or own operation tour
The CST directly counteracts the now widespread “greenwashing” practice. These companies over or misuse the “eco” or “sustainable” concept. They deceive consumers into believing their products or business has a more significant positive environmental impact.
With this certification, customers can have reliable information on which companies are trying to offer a sustainable tourism product and which are just trying to benefit from it.
The Costa Rican Tourism Institute (ICT) has a specialized committee that evaluates each company and its practices to ensure they align with the certification standards.
Why should these companies be the first choice?
Using the services or consuming the products of a company that has acquired this certification means several positive things:
- The company avoids gas emissions and environmental damage caused by pollution or other chemicals.
- The corporation carries out actions for the management and conservation of nature, protecting it always.
- The company manages the waste it produces in a way that does not impact the environment negatively.
- The business uses natural, biodegradable products and recycles all that can be reused.
- The enterprise has a program for saving water and electricity in all its facilities.
- The establishment complies with regulations related to the environment, archaeological heritage, and safety.
- The company employs and trains residents of the community where it operates.
- The business promotes the traditions and customs of the country, the consumption of typical food, and national handicrafts.
It is crucial to make conscious choices that lead to a better and greener planet that can be enjoyed now and in the future.