Costa Rica has been recognised by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) for the continuous efforts in developing and strengthening its sustainable tourism. The ‘GSTC-Recognised Standard’ status is related to the country’s Certificate for Sustainable Tourism (CST) and further strengthens Costa Rica’s position as a global leader in sustainability.
Launched by the Costa Rica Tourism Board in 1997, the Certificate for Sustainable Tourism (CST) was created to provide guidelines for hotel properties and service providers to build their business model based on sustainable tourism practices. The CST is backed by the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) and, now, also by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council.
“As global leaders in sustainability, we are very pleased to receive GSTC’s recognition for the Certification of Sustainable Tourism Standard. Established more than 20 years ago, the CST is the result of the public and private sector’s collaborative efforts to recognise tourism companies for their sustainable practices,” said Gustavo Segura Sancho, Costa Rica’s Tourism Minister, who was a key player in the implementation of the CST in the country.
Costa Rica is well known as a global leader in sustainability – the country produces nearly 99% of its electricity from renewable resources and it is currently home to over 6.5% of the world’s biodiversity. Costa Rica also aims to become one of the first countries to achieve zero carbon emissions by 2050.
Achieving the GSTC-Recognised status means that a sustainable tourism standard has been reviewed by GSTC technical experts and the GSTC Accreditation Panel. “CST is a well-established certification programme with a clever scheme of market incentives for participating businesses,” said Randy Durband, GSTC CEO.
Today, more than 400 tourism companies across Costa Rica are CST certified. The scheme is valid for two years. However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, all certificates will remain in place until January 2021 to support businesses during this extraordinary time, as long as companies keep up with their standards.