Costa Rica Hosts II International Planet, People, Peace Ecotourism Conference
Costa Rica has played a pioneering role to help redefine the concept of responsible tourism, demonstrating that ecotourism is much more than a public relations trend. As popular beach vacation destination, thousands travel to Costa Rica every year to enjoy stunning rainforest landscapes, beautiful beaches and rich biodiversity. Costa Rica offers a wide range of eco tours that promise a truly unique vacation experience whether traveling to the Pacific Coast, Caribbean Coast or the Central Valley. The success of this year’s Planet, People, Peace Conference in San Jose further reinforced Costa Rica’s forward thinking approach to sustainable eco tourism.
Costa Rica hosted the II International Planet, People, Peace Conference in November 2010. The three-day Planet, People, Peace Conference, organized by the National Association of Ecotourism (Camara Nacional de Ecoturismo, CANECO), brought together 200 participants from the national and international tourism industry and focused on the implementation and successes of sustainable ecotourism, of which Costa Rica is a recognized leader.
Glenn Jampol, President of the National Association of Ecotourism affirms, “Costa Rica has innovated, creating a responsible destination where tourists can contribute to solutions and sustainable tourism.”
The themed agenda for the II International Planet, People, Peace Conference for 2010 focused on the main elements of earth, air, water and fire. The Planet, People, Peace Conference explored specific topics pertaining to the benefits of sustainable ecotourism, covering areas such as the community rural tourism experience, climate change projects, tendencies and prognosis for sustainable tourism and the importance of marketing and certification.
Alberto Lopez Chaves, Director of Sustainability at the Costa Rica Tourism Board says, “A large percentage of every dollar that goes towards tourism in Costa Rica directly serves and benefits our local communities, mainly in activities related with community rural tourism and the services they provide. Any company that wants to build a presence here is strongly encouraged to support our rural communities as part of the sustainable tourism that Costa Rica practices.”
The Costa Rican tourism industry has made great strides in implementing sustainable ecotourism policies and local vacation rental operators agree that the country is a fitting location for more Planet, People, Peace conferences. “Costa Rica is the true pioneer of sustainable tourism, those that work in the industry have seen the positive results and we know that by working together we can effect positive environmental change through the promotion of responsible tourism,” affirmed Sara Hopkins, a spokesperson for Escape Villas, a leading vacation rental management company located in Costa Rica.
Current world issues regarding the economy and climate change have a significant influence on the tourism industry. “Costa Rica has also managed to provide evidence that tourists continue to increase their concern about these matters, and what governments, corporations and organizations should comprehend is that tourists are consistently choosing tourist destinations using these models of sustainability,” Glenn Jampol, President, National Association of Ecotourism.