The Certification for Sustainable Tourism Program - CST - is a program of the Costa Rican Tourism Board (ICT). It started in 1995, which means that Costa Rica was and still is, the first country to write an ISO certification in Sustainable tourism, that is not only recognized worldwide, but also not prívate, but public.
The CST was designed to differentiate businesses of the tourism sector, based on the degree to which they comply with a sustainable model of natural, cultural and social resource management.
CST is regulated by the Costa Rican National Accreditation Commission and consists of a scale of 5 "levels" of sustainable tourism achievement.
Ecole Travel has achieved 5 Levels in this Certification.
Under the CST, 5 Tour Operators with 5 levels, have the honour to receive all winners of the Gift of Happiness Campaign.
The First Winners of the Campaign arrived already to the Country
Facebook campaign caused madness in the U.S. and Canada The first couple of winners of the Gift of Happiness, the campaign that the Costa Rican Board of Tourism (ICT) launched in the U.S. and Canada, arrived on December 9 and was received with great anticipation by the tourism authorities at the Juan Santamaría Airport.
"Costa Rica's Million Dollar Gift of Happiness" was launched on October 6 and, to date, 40 people have won through the page "Visit Costa Rica" on Facebook. The winners are a married couple from Ottawa, Canada, which joined Facebook and participated in the promotion after a family member told them about the contest.
The couple said they were very excited to visit the country and were quite pleased with the much warmer climate, if compared with their country's weather. Dianne McGaire (56) and Scott McGaire (53) chose the package called "Authentic Happiness" from the five packages that this campaign includes: Romantic Happiness, Happiness Wildlife, Adventure Happiness, and Happiness Adrenaline. They were eager to learn more about the culture, interact with some communities, and enjoy the natural beauty.
Based on the chosen package, they were expected to visit areas in the Central Valley, the Southern Caribbean, Manuel Antonio National Park, Braulio Carrillo National Park, and Gandoca Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge.
This is not their first visit to Costa Rica. The couple had visited the country once before when they traveled on a cruise; however, they were here only for one day. They were very pleased to be able to enjoy more time in Costa Rica. Diane and Scott have been married for over 20 years, have three children, and work in an insurance company in the financial area.
Their "gift of happiness" could not be less than a vacation to a place in nature, away from the hustle and bustle of the big city. "Well, we're really excited. I think it is a great opportunity.