Costa Rica Leads Latin America in Certified Sustainable Tourism Industry
As of October 2007, Costa Rica lead Latin America in certified sustainable tourism operations with 68 businesses certified by Certification for Sustainable Tourism, up from 51 in 2006. In all, Latin America now has 167 businesses certified by independent sustainable tourism certification programs. All are listed in the Rainforest Alliance's SmartGuide to Sustainable Travel in the Americas.
"Now that travelers, tour operators and agencies have become savvier about what it means to be green, it's no longer enough for businesses simply to make claims about their responsible practices," said Ronald Sanabria, director of the Rainforest Alliance's sustainable tourism program. "Independent third-party certification ensures that businesses are meeting a set of environmental and social standards and can also help businesses identify areas where they can improve."Guatemala followed with 39 businesses certified by Green Deal, up from 20 in 2006. Green Globe 21 certified 36 businesses in seven Caribbean countries, 12 in Mexico and one each in Bolivia and Chile. There were 10 businesses in Ecuador certified by Smart Voyager. In addition, the US had 38 businesses certified by Green Seal.