TourCert Journal

News on the development of sustainable destinations in Costa Rica

Papagei in Costa Rica © Pixabay/Greg Montani


Last year TourCert accompanied the destinations Sarchí and Sarapiquí in Costa Rica on behalf of the GIZ towards the certification as the first sustainable destinations in Central America. They are proud of this achievement and continue to develop.

We would like to keep you up to date on the results of the activities on site and report from both regions:

Destination Sarchí strives to preserve the cultural and craft traditions of the region. Firstly, Sarchí has set up a commission to strengthen tourism products, which is part of the Sustainability Council and aims to put together attractive packages for visitors. Together with the 20 partner companies that have joined in by completing the TourCert Check, statistics on the sector, the visitors, their purchasing behavior and their experiences are currently being collected.

Handwerker beim Sarchiseño Craftsman Festival © RBA
Traditional crafts at the Sarchiseño Craftsman Festival

In April, the destination hosted the Sarchiseño Craftsman Festival 2019 to promote local culture. In addition, it allowed strengthening collaboration with local businesses and educational institutions that prepare tourist guides and bilingual professionals. An awareness campaign on the collection and disposal of recyclables was carried out in collaboration with the National University of Costa Rica and the creation of a tourism and cultural manager position in the Municipality of Sarchí is expected to be completed in the coming months.

Sarchí also participates in the Furniture and Crafts Fair Sarchí 2019, which is nationally known for its variety of high-quality furniture. The stand was run by members of the Sustainability Council and partner companies. Promotional items with the Destino Sarchí brand were also offered for sale there.

“For the Alto Palomo Hotel & Restaurant, the certification is an important platform through which we can present our company on the European market,” reports Jorge Fallas, manager of the Alto Palomo Hotel & Restaurant in Sarchí.

Handgefertigter Ochsenkarren in Costa Rica © RBA
Sarchí is particularly known for its colourful, hand-crafted ox carts

The Destination Sarapiquí has the goal to promote adventure and scientific tourism. There, 25 companies have successfully completed the TourCert Check and are now part of the TourCert community.

Pedro González, President of the Sustainability Council, took part in the International Tourism Exchange (ITB) in Berlin in March and was able to make direct contact with other business people and allies and keep track of the needs and trends of the European market.

Pedro González bei der ITB in Berlin © TourCert
Pedro González, President of the Sustainability Council of Sarapiquí, at the certification ceremony at ITB Berlin

In June, a Tourism Manager position was created in the Municipality of Sarapiquí, that supports the destination management and promotion. Under the direction of the Costa Rican Tourism Institute (ICT), the Destination Sarapiquí was chosen for its tourism potential to develop an Integral Management Plan.

The infrastructure is also improving, with the installation of a dollar ATM in the region being promoted for the convenience of visitors and in collaboration with the Municipality of Sarapiquí and local businesses, the waste management and collection is being improved.

The owners of Quinta de Sarapiquí Lodge, Beatriz Gámez and Leonardo Jenkins confirm: “We are very grateful to TourCert for the opportunity to jointly develop ourselves as a sustainable destination and to promote good practices for the benefit of our generation and future generations”.

Logos Sarchí und SarapiquíThe aim is to promote the two regions apart from the current tourist flows and make them interesting for European tour operators as well. Certification as a sustainable tourist destination ensures appropriate standards. We will be happy to keep you informed about the further progress of the two sustainable destinations in Costa Rica.

Costa Rica, RBA, Sarapiquí