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The Certification for Sustainable Tourism was designed and is being developed in Costa Rica by the Costa Rican Tourism Institute (ICT), and was recognized by the World Tourism Organization in January of 2000.

The CST is a program that promotes sustainability in the tourism sector by categorizing and certifying tourism companies according to the degree to which its operations comply to a model of sustainability; this program is also in continuous improvement. The ICT aggressively promotes and stands by the certification locally and abroad.

Sustainability establishes the need to satisfy the requirements of today’s society without compromising the right of future generations to satisfy their own. Basically the idea is to use our resources (natural, cultural, social, etc.) in a conscious fashion, in such a way that we are able to regenerate them for constant use. In the social sense we need to protect the socio-cultural and ecological interests of the community and in the business sense achieve competitiveness of our industry. To this effect, four fundamental aspects are evaluated in order to stimulate them: the interaction of the company with it’s surrounding natural habitat, management policies and operational systems (waste management, efficiency in resource use), interaction with it’s customers and providers to expand knowledge and promote sustainability, and the interaction of the company with the local communities and general population.

Implications. The tourism dollar reaches many people when companies have a commitment with it’s environment, including the community. The benefits of being responsible and establishing long term practices to maintain the business by helping maintain the surroundings, benefits the community not only economically but educationally and culturally; all this for the long run.

You are supporting Costa Rica's sustainability efforts when you buy from a CST certified agency, Thank You!
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