Sustainable Tourism in Costa Rica, Is it Real?

Costa Rica News – Sustainable tourism is the new thing. Everyone seems to feel the responsibility to reduce their carbon footprint, especially in the tropical places where they vacation. In Costa Rica there’s a certification known as CST, Certification of Sustainable Tourism, which is given to hotels and companies which interact responsibly with the nature and culture around them.

Certification of Sustainable Tourism costa ricaCosta Rican business owners have realized that if they destroy the diversity in their environment, the country will no longer attract tourists. Because of this they are leading the region in sustainable tourism efforts. Countries around the world have noticed Costa Rica for their efforts in conservation. Tourists can feel good about coming to Costa Rica.

The goals of the CST certification program also affect local citizens and residents by protecting and conserving natural resources and ensuring a healthy environment for years to come. Recycling of products, installation of water and energy saving devices, and projects to conserve the forests are included in this program. It’s nice that they take into consideration so many facets of what it means to be truly sustainable.

The CST considers many factors before awarding a certificate. They consider the physical parameters of the company and how it interacts with the biology in it’s surroundings, the management of operating systems, the ability for clients of the business to participate in the efforts, and the relationship between the company and the population of the surrounding community. It is important to not only protect the nature but also the history, significance, and culture of the local people.

In each of the qualifying criteria a company can get a score of 0-5. If you find a hotel with a level 1 sustainability score that means they only scored between 20 and 39 percent, whereas a level 5 hotel would have been evaluated at a 95 percent of higher and is sustainable by all criteria.

We can only hope that this is not just another ploy by the Costa Rican government to conserve the “green” image in Costa Rica.  Like so many approvals and rankings in Costa Rica sometimes the almighty dollar can place you in the clubs. Let’s hope that $s cannot by the certificates and that they actually mean something…… guess only time will tell.


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Date / Fecha: 03/07/13

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