I Travel, you Too
Convinced of the need to promote social tourism among the most vulnerable populations with few opportunities for leisure, ARA Tours in conjunction with the Chair of Sustainable Tourism of the State Distance University UNED of Costa Rica, have developed this program whose main objective is to promote the right to tourism for the benefit of those people who, due to their economic, social and health situation, have little possibility of leisure and recreation.
Since 2020, the ICT has been promoting the Social Tourism with Integrity program in Costa Rica.
The program currently has 36 tourism companies, and its incentive is to accredit companies that implement actions in their operations that integrate humanist objectives to provide the opportunity for people with disabilities and vulnerability to engage in tourism.
Within the framework of this program, the UNED has been carrying out research to provide scientific material and information on social tourism and the studies have shown that there is a lot of work to be done.
Thus, this project was created together with ARA Tours and the Chair of Sustainable Tourism of the UNED, to be part of the program Social Tourism with Integrity and to support this type of population.
According to the Costa Rican Tourism Board (ICT 2018), social tourism should involve "...humanitarian principles, which seek that companies develop programs within their operation, projects and activities, proposals that integrate humanistic, sustainable, pedagogical, cultural, respect and development of people, are for the improvement of society, quality of life, rescuing the right of every human being, a dignified life." (pp. 5)
In the Executive Decree No. 39528-MP-TUR of 10 December 2015, Article 2 says: "Social Tourism is conceived as a universal right, through which access to rest, recreation, leisure, free time is guaranteed, by segments of the population in social and economic vulnerability, in appropriate conditions of economy, accessibility, safety, comfort and quality".
It should be seen as a responsible practice for the benefit of local communities and their environment, in its cultural valorisation, optimal working conditions and fair economic benefits (Shenkel, 2019).
Social tourism was incorporated into the sustainable development model as a tool to improve society and the quality of life of all people, so it is the duty of the academy to work with and accompany social tourism managers in the territories, to contribute to the reflection and implementation of actions that strengthen social tourism.
ARA Tours together with the Chair of Sustainable Tourism of the State Distance University UNED, have developed this program whose main objective is to promote the right to tourism for the benefit of those people who, due to their economic, social and health situation, have little possibility of leisure and recreation.
Location: San Ramón, Alajuela
This is a non-profit organization that seeks the reincorporation of cancer patients and their families into society. Part of their objectives is that they look after the prevention and care needs that are not met by the current system. They are a pioneering organization in the development of integral health tourism and social tourism in Costa Rica. This organization carries out fundraising activities to bring cancer survivor populations to enjoy recreational and leisure activities.
Location: El Coyol de Alajuela.
The Asociación Posada de Belén, Madre Teresa de Calcuta was founded on 29 April, 1999 through an agreement with PANI (National Board of Children) and the Episcopal Conference of Costa Rica, in order to help, protect and care for adolescent girls who are victims of risk situations.
In the Association, the adolescents have resources that validate their rights as minors. The support resources they have are limited, so they must establish their life project based on their own abilities, their educational level, which is mostly low, and their schooling is below their chronological age.
The profile of the protected population is made up of 60 adolescent mothers between 12 and 18 years of age and 60 children between the ages of 0 and 6 years. Most of them are pregnant or are already mothers and have been victims of some risk situation.
Location: San Antonio de Escazú, San José
It is a children's canteen for the population living in vulnerable conditions, where they are provided with food (breakfast and snacks) every Saturday, as this day is not covered by the MEP's (Public Education Ministry of Costa Rica) children's canteens. The word Beraca comes from the Hebrew "berahkah" and means blessing, as this initiative has managed to bring the blessing to these families of food to these children, as well as receiving donations of clothes and toys.
Currently there is a list of approximately 30 minors at social risk.
Who can support and be part of the programme?
Contributions for the development of the project
ARA Tours customers: The involvement of the "I Travel, you too" project will be promoted to the wholesale partners that work with ARA Tours, as well as direct customers. The aim is to involve our wholesalers, collaborating with $35.00 per FIT booking in each ARFI (regardless of the number of people) and $8.00 per person in case of Groups.
ARA Transparency Foundation: Through the foundation, funds can be raised through donations from various international organizations.
Commercial partners and private enterprise: Tourism service providers such as hotels, transportation companies, local tour operators, guides, restaurants, among others, can collaborate by offering discounts, special rates, courtesies, etc.).
UNED (University Chair): Their contribution consists of providing transport for the tours, tour guides (students) and training for the organizations on social tourism.
Proposed tours to be implemented for beneficiaries:
- All Inclusive Hotel 3 Days/2 Nights
- Corcovado 3 Days/2 Nights
- Arenal / La Fortuna 3 Days/2 Nights
- Tortuguero 3 Days / 2 Nights
- 1 Day Trips: Canopy and Cable Car Tours