Sustainable Tourism Certification
On May 17, 2021 ARA Tours proudly obtained the Elite level of Sustainability Certification, the highest level of Tourism Sustainability in Costa Rica granted by the Costa Rican Tourism Institute.
At the end of 2018, a restructuring of the old tool for the Certification of Tourism Sustainability in Costa Rica known as CST was carried out, now called CST 2.0.
This new restructuring succeeds in adapting international parameters to this new tool, addressing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and including the criteria of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (CGTS).
The last tool had 20 years from its first edition so it was necessary to apply an update. The main objectives of the new CST 2.0 program are:
On the other hand, this technical tool aims to strengthen the sustainable tourism activity of Costa Rica, being an acknowledgment to the management of companies and organizations that actively work to mitigate the impacts resulting from their operation, strengthening social, cultural, environmental, economic work and development of tourist destinations.
With the last evaluation, the companies were categorized according to their level of compliance in leaves (1 to 5 leaves). Now, with the new tool, there will be only two categories:
This tool comes to adapt to the different structures of organizations (small, medium and large companies) so that the tool will be structured according to the size of each company.
Another modification of the new tool is to eliminate the figure of the evaluator who was in charge of visiting each company to do the verification of the evidence "in situ". Now, this figure will be called auditor, who will review the evidence of each company that was previously placed in the digital platform and he will make a field visit only when he considers it necessary.
In this way, the face-to-face visits by ICT representatives to the companies will no longer be carried out under this new model.
With this new digital platform, each company must upload all its evidence, in order to be analyzed by this auditor. The ICT Sustainability Department was trained to perform the corresponding audits.
Regarding the new digital platform, the areas of the last tool were maintained but a new one was added: Specific Indicator that will be evaluated according to the type of tourism activity. For example: Car rental company, Lodging company, Tour operators, etc.
These are the areas that will be evaluated with the new tool:
Under each area, there will be several questions from which companies must support their answers with evidence and upload them to the digital platform. In case of any question, additional information will be available following the icon or symbol "i".
The areas will be divided according to three criteria according to their modality:
Participation in events, seminars and workshops organized by the ICT to share or discuss the scope of the CST certificate.
Also, with this new tool, new categories of tourist activities are implemented, previously there were 6 categories, now it is increased to 9 categories:
For tourists, selecting a company with CST assures them that the company is responsible in its business management processes and avoids, as far as possible, having impacts on the environment, culture and its social environment.
For more information see the following link: http://www.turismo-sostenible.co.cr
Apdo 799 – 1007
San José, Costa Rica
Licenced by the Costa Rican Tourist Board: Lic ICT OT 294
Liability insurance: Instituto Costarricense de Seguros (INS) Coverage: Territory of the Republic of Costa Rica