TORONTO — With a goal to be the first carbon neutral country in the world, the Costa Rican Tourism Board has announced that it is now a member of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC).
GSTC establishes and manages global sustainable standards, known as the GSTC Criteria, and encourages destinations to join and pursue sustainability practices in tourism development and management.
“We are honoured 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 Rodriguez, Minister of Tourism of Costa Rica.
Randy Durband, GSTC CEO, added: “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. As such, we’re proud to engage with them to pursue further stages of sustainable tourism.”
In support of local companies that are taking a conscious approach towards preserving the environment, the Costa Rican Tourism Board, also known as Instituto Costarricense de Turismo (ICT) has 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.
Costa Rica holds 5% of the world’s land-based biodiversity and 3.5% of its marine life. The country also produces nearly 98% of its electricity from renewable resources and 26% of its territory is protected natural land, and is home to four UNESCO World Heritage sites. Sustainable practices are observed in every region of the country, across all industries, and is evident in everything from local cuisine to artisan crafts, traditional customs and celebrations.
For more information about Costa Rica go to https://www.ict.go.cr/en/.