The Costa Rican Tourism Board (ICT) has joined as a Member of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC)
The Costa Rican Tourism Board (Instituto Costarricense de Turismo) is the government agency responsible for promoting sustainability in Costa Rica. The ICT guarantees a supportive and equitable sustainable tourism development model that uses innovation, the development of its workforce, and effective public management to promote new opportunities for tourism development that helps improve the competitiveness and the life quality as a nation.
The small nation holds 5% of the world’s land-based biodiversity and 3.5% of its marine life. Costa Rica produces nearly 98% of its electricity from renewable resources and 26% of its territory is protected natural land. Costa Rica is also the home of four World Heritage sites certified by UNESCO.
Sustainability in Costa Rica
With a goal to be the first carbon neutral country in the world, sustainable practices are observed in every region of the country, across all industries, adopted by all citizens and embraced by visitors. From local Costa Rican cuisine to artisan crafts, traditional customs and celebrations, sustainability is embedded deeply in the culture and traditions of Costa Rica.
In support of companies that place a conscious approach towards preserving the environment and the local community, the ICT developed a Certification for Sustainable Tourism (CST) program, which uses a ‘GSTC-Recognized Standard‘. The CST aims to improve the way in which natural and social resources are used, to promote active participation of local communities, and to provide support for the competitiveness of the entrepreneurial sector.
The Ecologic Blue Flag Program was also established to strengthen public health and tourist activities. It is an annual award with ten categories and is administered by several institutions from the public sector and private company organizations.
“We are honored to become a GSTC member country, an organization with which Costa Rica shares the vision of sustainable tourism development that has earned us the status of a global benchmark. We are confident that we can enrich each other and join forces to ensure that sustainability policies and practices advance in the travel and tourism sector,” said William Rodríguez, Minister of Tourism of Costa Rica.
GSTC Welcomes Costa Rica
“Costa Rica has long been a leader in having a good national program in place to engage and encourage their tourism industry’s upward march toward sustainability,” said Randy Durband, GSTC CEO. “As such, we’re proud to engage with them to pursue further stages of sustainable tourism.”
“Leadership brings together the GSTC and Costa Rica. What a good combination to show the world that sustainable tourism is a reality that can be accomplished by a country that generates sustainable development for its inhabitants and also for visitors,” said Jorge Moller, GSTC LATAM Program Director. “Latinoámerica is on a good journey… En buena hora !!!”
GSTC encourages destinations pursuing sustainability practices in tourism to join as GSTC members. Apply the GSTC Destination Criteria and support local businesses to apply the GSTC Industry Criteria. Destinations can eventually aim for achieving certification by a GSTC-Accredited Certification Body as a sustainable tourist destination.
The Costa Rican Tourism Board (Spanish: Instituto Costarricense de Turismo – ICT) is the government agency responsible for promoting sustainable tourism in Costa Rica. The ICT aims to strengthen the Costa Rican sustainable tourism development model through the definition of public policies, alliances, programs, and projects to encourage competitiveness, sustainability, equity, solidarity, and a pleasant stay for tourists, always looking to improve the living standards of Costa Ricans. From 2021, it consolidated as the governing tourism entity in Costa Rica, guaranteeing a supportive and equitable sustainable tourism development model that uses innovation, inclusion, the development of its workforce, and effective public management to promote new opportunities for tourism development that helps improve the competitiveness and the quality of life as a nation. For more information, visit www.ict.go.cr/en/.