Sustainable Costa Rican Tourist Companies Can Get International Certification

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Sustainable Costa Rican tourist enterprises will now be eligible for a European certification, issued by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council, reported the agency last week.

The international certification, called TourCert, was developed in Germany, and is based on international standards of quality and environmental management including EMAS and ISO, specifically the ISO 26000 guide for social responsibility.

Günter Koschwitz, board member of TourCert in Germany, said the tool allows all stakeholders and interest groups linked to tourism to be integrated into sustainable practices, corporate social responsibility, and quality in the provision of services, according to the global tourism council.

This certification is the result of an agreement between TourCert and the Costa Rican company Reinventing Business For All (RBA), which will lead the certification process in Central America and the Caribbean.

Eduardo Villafranca, president of RBA, explained that this step, which recognized sustainable businesses, will generate “a greater interest in tour operators and wholesalers in Europe in Costa Rican destinations.”

The system has a certified tourist community of over 200 companies, most of them from Germany, Switzerland and Austria.

The process is reviewed by a certification board in Germany consisting of 12 tourism experts who evaluate the audit to grant the certificate, said the council.

The system makes it easy for tourist establishment’s to conduct an in-depth analysis of all aspects of sustainability, determine priorities, and make continuous improvements.

Companies that wish to become certified should start to prepare for the following: A business diagnosis, a business policy review, a review of processes and structures, the development of a continuous improvement program, drafting a sustainability report, and an evaluation by the certification board, said the council.

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