ICT Certification Tool for Sustainable Tourism is modernized
Almost 400 companies in Costa Rica will maintain the CST until 2021 and 60 managed to meet the requirements of the new 2.0 standard, during the 2020 period
With the close of the month of September and in the framework of the celebration of World Tourism Day, year after year the Costa Rican Tourism Institute (ICT) reports on the progress, news and modernization of the tool of the Certificate of Tourism Sustainability (CST ).
Although approximately 400 companies in the Costa Rican tourism sector currently have CSTs, on September 30 the ICT announced that 60 companies have managed to meet the strictest requirements of the new CST 2.0 at the basic and elite levels during the 2020 period.
The CST is valid for 2 years and the criteria and indicators that are evaluated to grant the certification include: business management, social, cultural and economic management, environmental management and management of specific indicators according to the category, the entire process is digitized to demonstrate sustainable tourism practices, a transversal axis that differentiates Costa Rica as a tourist destination in the world.
Precisely, as part of the context of the new normality, for the first time in more than 20 years the certificates were delivered virtually, with the approval and pride of the representatives of the accommodation, gastronomic, tour operators, theme parks, companies that rent vehicles, coastal marine tour operators, hot springs and spa companies, institutions and organizations.
“Costa Rica has been a successful country in sustainable tourism and has managed to create a tool that has allowed to consolidate its work in the protection of the environment, in its cultural breadth and the development of a social structure through the companies that are part of the CST standard ”, said Virgilio Espinoza, Head of the Department of Certifications and Tourism Social Responsibility of the ICT.
Espinoza added that this tool has caused a dynamic of differentiation that enhances the Costa Rican tourism model and allows small, medium and large companies a series of benefits and they identify their business management always in sustainability as a differentiating axis.
Evolution of the CST
The businesswoman Pippa Kelly, owner of Casitas Tenorio Lodge, located in Bijagua de Upala, expressed feeling extremely proud of having obtained the elite level, the highest recognition granted by the Certificate of Tourism Sustainability at the end of the month in September.
“For us it is very important to demonstrate the good environmental, cultural and social practices that a community rural tourism project is carrying out in its community. We want to motivate other companies in the Costa Rican tourism sector to obtain this important certificate that focuses on development focused on sustainability ”, highlighted this entrepreneur, after being notified that her six-room inn meets the highest standards, according to evaluated in the process to achieve this certification.
For Fernando Madrigal, President of the National Chamber of Ecotourism (CANAECO), the CST tool that is used for auditing by ICT demonstrates the individual commitment of a tourism company to sustainability.
“One company can say that it is sustainable, but another is to demonstrate it and, precisely, this is the reason for the existence of this certification. The company that obtains the certification is the one that has managed to digitally and reliably document its sustainable actions that are based on three main axes: nature, the community and the company. Although it is a difficult test, it enhances the image of companies and that of Costa Rica as a tourist destination ”, added Madrigal, who is part of the Technical Verification Commission of the CST as a representative of the private sector.
Finally, as part of the news, the ICT announced that the first three protected areas, the Manuel Antonio, Carara and Poás Volcano national parks, are in the process to obtain the CST, which sets a precedent in the history of this standard of globally recognized sustainability.
Three months ago, the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) recognized the Certificate of Sustainable Tourism (CST), but at the same time strengthened the image of Costa Rica worldwide for its permanent efforts in the development and consolidation of sustainable tourism.
More information on the page www.turismo-sostenible.co.cr