Costa Rica Tourism Board Manuel Antonio National Park

WTM news: Costa Rica continues its commitment to eco-friendly tourism

The only country to ever win the 'UN Champions of the Earth' award, Costa Rica, has plans to continue an eco-friendly model of tourism.

Tourism plans will fall in line with being sustainable and environmentally friendly, as the country plans to achieve zero emissions by 2050. The plan focuses on four key sectors: transport and sustainable mobility; energy, green building and industry; integrated waste management; and agriculture, land use change and nature-based solutions.

Speaking of this initiative, tourism minister Maria Amalia told Travel Bulletin: “We are so proud of this, Costa Rica is committed to sustainability, 52% of our land is forest coverage and 26% is national parks and reserves. Being eco-friendly was always our interest, 30 years ago this type of model was not recognised, but we always had this in mind. We want to focus on medium and small-sized properties, we want tourism to benefit our communities. 90% of accommodation in Costa Rica has less than 40 rooms.”

Under the slogan ‘Wellness Pura Vida’, meaning pure life, the Costa Rica Tourism Board wants to also promote tourism that falls in line with being at one with nature and natural surroundings. To target the global problem of ‘burnout’, the country is working closely with hoteliers and local communities to develop these wellness offerings such as sanctuaries, spas and yoga retreats.

The Tourism Minister reiterated how important agents are in selling the destination of Costa Rica to clients, “Travel agents are very important for Costa Rica, it’s a sophisticated destination, you need an expert that knows and understands the region – we have very specific activities like water rafting, adventurous tourism, wellness, bird watching, whale watching. We want to teach travel agents all about this and how to sell Costa Rica, so we have the Pura Vida University, a place for training agents. It is regularly updated with incentives to win Costa Rica products and FAM trips. Last year we had two FAM trips that included 11 people.”

 


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