Planet, Peace, People: The Costa Rican Tourism Model

Planet, Peace, People: The Costa Rican Tourism Model


Costa Rica is a small biologically diverse country in Central America, hosting 6% of all the species of flora and fauna on the planet in an area about the size of West Virginia in the USA. Costa Rica has been the global leader in the areas of conservation and sustainable tourism. Throughout its history, Costa Rica has demonstrated its progressive efforts to promote peace, conserve the environment, and strengthen the cultural identity of the Costa Rican through responsibly managed tourism development.


in 1995, the Costa Rican Tourism Institute (ICT) created a certification program promoting good practices in sustainable tourism, with the ambition that all hotels and eventually tour operators and transportation sectors of tourism in Costa Rica would implement those sustainability initiatives.


Demonstrating Costa Rica's commitment to a policy of preservation, education, training and corporate responsibility, the ICT has been working to construct a viable paradigm for environmental, cultural and social conservation through sustainable tourism. In various areas, Costa Rica has demonstrated its innovation and leadership in sustainability.

  • An official governmental policy declaring the goal to be the first carbon neutral nation in the world by the year 2021.
  • Progressive renewable energy strategies.
  • Supporting forest preservation through a "Payment for Environmental Services" program which rewards landowners for every tree left standing on their land. This program, successfully providing incentive for conservation, has led to an increase in Costa Rica's green coverage by more than 20% in the last 20 years.
  • Protecting over 40% of the land through national and international park systems, reserves and private preserves.
  • Eco-friendly national/domestic airlines with strong carbon offsetting practices.

International Conference: Planet, People, Peace

Those interested in learning more about Costa Rica's evolution as a leader in ecotourism and sustainable tourism will have the opportunity to gain first-hand knowledge of the Costa Rica tourism model at the upcoming Planet, People, Peace Conference (October 26-29, 2009), organized by the Costa Rica National Association of Ecotourism (CANAECO), and supported by TIES and other national and international organizations. The conference will present Costa Rica's myriad of sustainable policies and successes and will discuss the future of sustainable tourism.


>> Learn more about the conference



About TIES

As the world's oldest and largest international ecotourism association, TIES seeks to be the global source of knowledge and advocacy uniting communities, conservation, sustainable travel..




> The International Ecotourism Society 



The Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism Conference will highlight global challenges and local opportunities, supporting sustainable development of tourism and promoting solutions that balance conservation, communities and sustainable travel.

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