Costa Rica is recognized by the world as the leader in sustainable tourism; it is an intrinsic aspect of the country’s culture, government and policies. Planet, People, Peace: The Second International Conference, from the 1st to the 3rd of November, 2010 was a platform by which Costa Rica and its extraordinary sustainable model built upon the profound information absorbed and learned from the first International Conference in 2009 and continue to implement those tools. Sustainable tourism is maturing rapidly in Costa Rica, having learned well from its past successes and failures, its participation in world events, and the added value of its continued support from the tourism ministry (ICT) which has kept Costa Rica at the forefront of redefining responsible tourism globally. Again, The Republic of Costa Rica presented its myriad of sustainable policies and successes and hosted experienced and sometimes controversial representatives from the international community to debate and share ideas about the future of sustainable tourism and to understand the current tendencies of the global tourist, the expansion of the tourist’s demands for responsible tourism and solutions for improving its financial viability.
This forum again reunited national and international leaders in responsible tourism to share strategies, best practices, global certification programs, new challenges and innovative solutions to create opportunities for the tourist industry based on the history and real time experiences of Costa Rica. This is a conference specifically created for professionals, pioneers, innovators and experienced participants in this endeavor and offers a great opportunity for students and those newly involved in this important work.
The conference investigated rural and community based tourism, water management, protecting the cultures of a people and a country, social responsibility and future tourism and sustainability trends and the implementation of the Climate Conscious Traveler program (VCC- Viajes Con Ciencia) a CANAECO project which debuted during the previous conference; an innovative program which will place Costa Rica as a carbon neutral destination. Governments, corporations and nongovernmental organizations need to grasp the obvious fact that travelers are now consciously choosing tourist destinations that employ some kind of contemporary model of sustainability.
Costa Rica has been both a pioneer and an innovator and has shown great leadership in responsible tourism and as such, this second conference again presented the country as the viable model for creating a responsible destination where tourists can contribute to solutions and participate in responsible tourism.
As president of CANAECO, the hosts for this important conference for the sharing of information, we look forward to seeing you again participating in the Follow-up of this unique and historical event.