Costa Rica leads way on sustainability

Get real time updates directly on you device, subscribe now.

To reach net zero by 2050, Costa Rica, which boasts 6.5 percent of the world’s biodiversity and 3.5 percent of its marine life, has placed sustainability at the centre of its travel and tourism industry.

The country is working to improve the way in which natural and social resources are used while promoting active participation from local communities and supporting competitiveness within the entrepreneurial sector.

One of the key sustainability drivers is through the National Forestry Financing fund and non-profit organisation FONAFIFO, which allows anyone to offset their carbon footprint by using its calculator tool, whether they are traveling to Costa Rica or another country. Once a compensation payment has been made, the person receives a digital certificate and the money is invested in the Program of Payments for Environmental Services.

Costa Rica’s sustainability efforts have been widely recognised by the international community. The country received a 2019 Champions of the Earth award, the United Nation’s highest environmental honour, for its role in combating climate change.

Costa Rica leads way on sustainability
Hot springs. Credit: Costa Rica Tourism Board

Costa Rica has also been recognised by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) for its continuous efforts in developing and strengthening sustainable tourism. In particular, for the Certificate for Sustainable Tourism (CST), a tool which provides tourism companies with a framework to mitigate their environmental impact. Launched by the Costa Rica Tourism Board in 1997, the certification has also been backed by the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO).

This has increased the international credibility of the CST standard, which is aligned with universal criteria for sustainable management, social and economic benefits for the local community, preservation of cultural heritage and reduction of pollution

Carolina Trejos, Costa Rica Tourism Board Marketing Director: “We promote sustainable, innovative and inclusive tourism, promoting unique and high-value experiences for tourists to improve the well-being of the country’s inhabitants.”

Costa Rica will be presenting its sustainability efforts and showcasing its top attractions at ITB Berlin 2023 in March.

Costa Rica leads way on sustainability
Arenal Volcano. Credit: Costa Rica Tourism Board