Sustainable tourism

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  1. Certification for sustainable tourism practices (CST)

    CST is a program implemented by the Costa Rican tourism board, that seeks to certify tourism companies according to the degree to which its operations comply to a model of sustainability. To this effect, four fundamental aspects are evaluated:

    To measure and fix these different levels, the CST program provides a system of "sustainability levels", on a scale of 0 to 5, in which each number indicates the relative position of the firm in terms of sustainability with level 5 being the highest. This scheme provides a way to classify the tourist firms in terms of "levels " in a system very similar to the commercial categorization of hotels by means of the well known stars system.

    Visit the webpage www.sustainable-tourism.co.cr

    • Physical-biological parameters: Evaluates the interaction between the company and its surrounding natural habitat.
    • Infrastructure and services: Evaluates the management policies and the operational systems within the company and its infrastructure.
    • External clients: Evaluates the interaction of the company with its clients in terms of how much it allows and invites the client to be an active contributor to the company's policies of sustainability.
    • Socio-economic environment: Evaluates the interaction of the company with the local communities and the population in general.

    To measure and fix these different levels, the CST program provides a system of "sustainability levels", on a scale of 0 to 5, in which each number indicates the relative position of the firm in terms of sustainability with level 5 being the highest. This scheme provides a way to classify the tourist firms in terms of "levels " in a system very similar to the commercial categorization of hotels by means of the well known stars system.

  2. Help us practice sustainable tourism at Bahia del Sol Hotel

    We at Bahia del Sol Hotel participate in sustainable practices and our staff works very hard to minimize negative impacts on the environment. We appreciate your support, participation and suggestions in our journey towards a sustainable tourism industry at Potrero Bay.

    Please take into consideration the following suggestions that will help us to meet this important goal:

    Visit the webpage www.sustainable-tourism.co.cr

    • Save energy:
      When you are not in your room, turning off the lights, A/C and television will save energy. Keep the door closed when the air condition is running Make use of natural light by opening the curtains.
    • Save water:
      To save water we ask you to reuse your towels, for towels to be exchanged, please leave them on the floor. We change linens on intervals thereby saving water, if new linens are desired, place a note that you will find on your nightstand, on the bed. Report any water leakage at the front desk at extension 150 or 0. Close faucets correctly, use a glass when brushing your teeth.
    • Reduce waste & recycle:
      Help us recycle, reduce, re-use and avoid making waste. Please deposit all waste in the assigned recycle bins on the hotel property Help us keep the beach clean!
    • Environment & culture:
      Entrance fees paid for National Park visits will go straight into the funding for National Parks. Please keep in mind: LEAVE NOTHING BUT FOOTPRINTS, TAKE NOTHING PUT PICTURES! o To benefit communities visit cultural and historical sites such as Santa Rosa National Park, the Guaitil Artisan Village and the folkloric city of Santa Cruz. Don't buy or trade archeological artifacts, buy replicas instead made by local craftsmen.
    • Before you leave:
      Your opinion matters, if you have recommendations that we can add to this list or other observations, write them down on the guest evaluation sheet available to you at the reception and turn them in. Your responses and opinion on the CST program are shared on a bi-annual basis with the Sustainable Tourism Certification Commission and Ministry of Tourism.

    We guarantee that our staff strives to adhere to the initiatives and practices listed in our sustainability manual. If you find any discrepancies between written policies and daily operations, please let the front desk personnel know. Bahia del Sol will compensate you with a free lunch or dinner. Also if you provide contact information, we will follow up as the problem is resolved.

  3. Getting involved - how can you be a responsible traveler

    Everyone can be a responsible traveler no matter what travel style you choose, it just requires a little effort and needs you to be aware of the implications of your actions. You can make a difference:

    While exploring the surroundings:

    • Respect local culture and traditions: Be aware and sensitive to cultural differences in language, custom and the way you dress. Ask permission before taking someone’s picture.
    • Learn a few words in the local language: like ¨como estas? Pura Vida! Gracias!¨ Using these will generally be rewarded with friendly smiles. Learn about the local culture throughout your trip and visit local cultural events like a traditional fair or rodeo.
    • Bring direct economic benefit to our community: try local brands for food and drink. Buy hand crafted goods produced by local artisans like the ceramics made in Guaitil or Potrero village.
    • Never buy authentic archeological artifacts or souvenirs made from endangered plants or animals, such as turtle shell, coral and non-plantation precious woods.
    • Respect nature: Do not litter, pick wild flowers or plants; try to reuse water bottles and recycle whenever you can.
    • Preserve local resources when possible: At the Bahia del Sol we have a policy to minimize laundering of towels and sheets, try to support it. Remember to turn off lights and air conditioning when you leave your room. Try not to waste water when you are not using it. Try to use biodegradable soaps and organic bug repellent and sun block.
    • Make donations count: The best way to give back to the country is through donations to organizations, not to individuals. For a list of reputable conservation and social organizations in Costa Rica, contact us.

    In a national parks, monuments and protected areas

    • Always respect the visitor capacity established in the observation sites: Avoid sitting down, grabbing a trunk or branch before verifying (it may have spines or an animal on it), stay on the trails, speak in a soft tone and be attentive to the presence of snakes.
    • Hire a local guide: Guides enhance the overall experience, and provide a wider interpretation of the areas you visit, will explain local customs to you, as well as help you spot animals.
    • Please do not feed, touch or harass animals at any times: Do not collect insects, flora and fauna.
    • Don’t litter: Pick up garbage and drop it off at the hotel, we gladly recycle what you may have found and brought back.
    • Hunting is illegal in Costa Rica: please report illegal hunting to the MINAE park rangers or at your hotel.
    • Increase your chances of seeing wildlife by:
      • Remain very quiet on the trail and don’t move when you are observing animals.
      • Visiting the area early in the morning or around dusk
      • Wear clothes that blend into the background
      • Avoid wearing perfume or other strong scents.
  4. Blue Flag program

    The Blue Flag is a voluntary eco-label awarded to beaches, schools and communities. In Costa Rica the Blue Flag Ecological Program was created in response to the imminent dangers of beach pollution, its repercussions on public health and the tourism industry. It has reached its twelfth year of operations, with a marked increase that began in 2002

    The "Blue Flag" program provides strong incentives to hotels, local tourism boards, and coastal communities, to work together to protect Costa Rica's beaches.

    To this effect, four fundamental aspects are evaluated:

    In 2008 the Bahia del Sol started implementing these criteria in close collaboration with various community members and a local school. Join us for our monthly beach cleaning activity! More information for you available at the front desk!

 

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