"Sustainability as a model for development, establishes the need to satisfy the requirements of today’s society without making it impossible for future generations to satisfy their own.” The development of a country cannot be achieved by the unrestrained exploitation of its resources--natural, cultural, social--to the point of eradicating or destroying them and at the same time seeking to fulfill the needs of the present population with food, housing, health and work.
For tourism, sustainability is not only a response to the demand factors of the industry; it is now an indispensable condition to be able to compete successfully in order to survive into the future. Today’s tourists are seeking a more interactive tourism, with greater respect for the social-cultural and ecological interests of the local communities, higher standards of service, along with the ability to protect and regenerate the natural environment and local customs. More and more hotels today are created to meet the demands of these “conservation tourists” and demonstrate their commitment to sustainability throughout their organization. When you choose your travel, choose responsibly, there is a way to make your travel count. Here are some of the things that we suggest.
We at Cayuga Sustainable Hospitality are 100% committed to sustainable tourism practices and work diligently to seek out and implement sustainable practices at all levels of operation. Of note is our current effort to substantially diminish the use of bottled water on our properties; and there are some very good reasons for it, have a look. If you visit our properties, bring your refillable water bottle, join our initiative, and be part of something meaningful!
The first, and perhaps most far reaching, program developed by the Costa Rican Tourism Board (ICT), along with other governmental and educational groups, to promote the concept of sustainable tourism is the Certificate for Sustainable Tourism (CST). The CST program categorizes and certifies tourism companies according to the level that their operations approach a model of sustainability—in terms of their degree of impact on the natural, cultural and social resources of the country. The certification committee focuses on four operational components: the physical-biological; the infrastructure and services; the external clients; and the socioeconomic environment. These categories cover a range of issues as specific as the type of products and consumer goods purchased and used by a company, to those more broad-based, such as a company’s efforts to educate their clients toward conservation and respect for local culture. In summary, the ICT would define sustainable tourism “as the balanced interaction of three basic factors within the tourism industry: 1- Proper stewardship of our natural and cultural resources; 2 – Improvement of the quality of life of the local communities; and 3- Economic success, that can contribute to other programs of national development.”
Although Costa Rica and many of its wilderness-oriented tourism businesses are famous for pioneering the concept of ecotourism, the CST addresses a broader concept—sustainable tourism—which addresses both wilderness and urban tourism activities and encourages practices that spread benefits more widely into the local communities and ensures long-lasting success. CST isn’t an ecotourism seal. It is a set of performance-based standards that create guidelines that any country would want their development to follow, whether based on an ecotourism model or not. The certification addresses a series of basic principles of sustainability that are in need of adoption the world over. In fact, the CST guidelines have been approved by the ministries of tourism of every country in Central America, as well as Mexico and Belize , and several countries in South America have expressed interest in developing similar programs.
It has been said before that CST is a program “worthy of exportation.” The truth is that Costa Rica has been exporting the concept of ecotourism and sustainable development for some time now. The numbers of people that visit the country annually attest to the country’s leadership position in this timely market, illustrating that Costa Rica doesn’t just export bananas anymore! Visit www.turismo-sostenible.co.cr for more information.
We at Cayuga Sustainable Hospitality are constantly at work to improve sustainable tourism practices at all of our properties. We focus (though not exclusively on):
Promoting Sustainability in Daily Business Practices
According to National Geographic´s Center for Sustainable Destinations, “geotourism is defined as tourism that sustains or enhances the geographical character of a place—its environment, culture, aesthetics, heritage, and the well-being of its residents. Geotourism incorporates the concept of sustainable tourism—that destinations should remain unspoiled for future generations—while allowing for ways to protect a place's character.
Geotourism also takes a principle from its ecotourism cousin,—that tourism revenue should promote conservation—and extends it to culture and history as well, that is, all distinctive assets of a place.”
Cayuga Sustainable Hospitality works diligently to incorporate the principles of geotourism into its operations. Examples of this work include:
To learn more about the concept of geotourism, click here.
Of note is our current effort to substantially diminish the use of bottled water on our properties; and there are some very good reasons for it, have a look. If you visit our properties, bring your refillable water bottle, join our initiative, and be part of something meaningful!