Calypso Cruises has obtained the Certification for Sustainable Tourism (CST). Our mission is to raise awareness about the importance of environmental conservation and part of that goal is remembering our own impact. The Certification for Sustainable Tourism program evaluates each tourism company based on the degree to which its operations comply to a model of sustainability.
In order to meet their criteria, our staff is constantly evaluating our physical-biological parameters, service management, interaction with external clients and relationship with the community. We hold each of these criteria to the highest importance and are proud to uphold the ideals of Certification for Sustainable Tourism (CST).
Information about Costa Rica's certificate for sustainable tourism (CST)
The concept of “ecotourism”, going “green” and building “sustainably” in the tourism industry has exploded over the past ten years. These terms are well known in Costa Rica at most hotels, restaurants and with tour operators. There are varied definitions for these terms but simply put - finding ways to satisfy the requirements of today’s society without making it impossible for future generations to satisfy their own.
Sometimes finding truly “sustainable” tourism operations has become extremely difficult for consumers. With the advent of “green washing”: the practice of using terms such as “ecotourism” or “green” are used as a marketing ploy to attract a more socially and environmentally conscious customers. Not necessarily as real operational plan or commitment.
How are customers supposed to know the difference between a hotel or tour operator that is truly sustainable (making substantial contributions to the environment and surrounding community) and one that simply says that it is “green” for the sake of attracting customers?
Environmentally and socially conscious persons who visit Costa Rica have a great tool for assuring that their money is spent in a way that will truly make a positive contribution. This is the Certificate for Sustainable Tourism (CST) administered by the Costa Rican Tourism Institute (ICT).
This complete and rigorous, certification system (which is the only certification endorsed by the Costa Rican government) awards hotels and tour operators ‘leaves' on a scale of one to five based on their sustainability achievements (much like the mobile star rating which evaluates hotel services)..
The CST bases its judgements on four factors:
- Biological-Physical: How does a property impact and/or protect its surrounding environment?
- Services and Infrastructure: How do the property’s operations (including product use and disposal, water and energy management, etc.) affect the environment?
- Social-Economic Environment: What impact does the property have on nearby communities to promote/provide education to its staff and community and to work with community service providers?
- External Client: How does the property promote and teach responsible tourism with guests who visit.
Currently, the CST is not mandatory for all properties in Costa Rica. For this reason, it is imperative that the consumer take an active role in looking for properties (hotels and tour operators) that are participating in the certification process. By supporting CST certified organizations, you not only know where your money is being spent, but are showing your support for fair, honest and above all, truly sustainable business practices. When you travel in Costa Rica, inquire about CST certification, ask questions and demand answers. Your travel decisions and your ‘colones’,can truly make a difference. If you would like more information, please visit: www.turismo-sostenible.co.cr
Environment tips for travelers to Costa Rica
Calypso Cruises participates in Sustainable Tourism Policies and follows environmental guidelines and programs to protect our environment.
Calypso Cruises doesn’t use disposable plates or glasses. We recycle: paper, glass and plastic and organic material is made into compost and used at Punta Coral,
a property owned by the owners of Calypso located in some of the last 2% of Tropical Dry Forest left in the world today. (www.puntacoral.com) Calypso Cruises has been protecting this precious eco system from development for more than 35 years.