Costa Rica unveils a raft of sustainability updates – TTG

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The Costa Rica Tourism Board (ICT) has launched a carbon emissions calculator that allows visitors to donate to environmental projects across the country. 
The move is one of several sustainability updates from the country, as the UK overtakes Germany to become Costa Rica’s largest European source market.
The ICT has partnered with the National Forestry Financing Fund (Fonafifo) to create an online tool that enables visitors to calculate the carbon emissions generated by their flight. They can then make a voluntary donation to Fonafifo, with funds invested in projects including planting forests, aiding farmers and regenerating natural spaces. 
The partnership is part of the tourist board’s Pura Vida Pledge, which is a promise to educate visitors about sustainable tourism.
Each year the ICT awards Blue Flag status to beaches that meet criteria around cleanliness and sustainable practices, and in 2022 it has recognised a record 140 beaches. 
Beaches included in the scheme feature clean sands, high sea water quality, waste disposal programmes, showers and toilets, and lifeguards and emergency staff throughout the year.
The highest score of five stars was given to 11 beaches, including Punta del Madero and El Jobo in Guanacaste, Playa Playitas in Quepos and Playa Blanca in Cahuita. 
The ICT has also released international arrival figures for January and June 2022, which show the country welcomed 39,890 visitors from the UK. This was followed by Germany with 39,781 visitors, France with 38,780 arrivals, and Spain with 23,068. 
UK arrivals for the first six months of the year are down 4.6% compared to the same period in 2019, when 41,810 travellers visited.  
The ICT’s UK representative Rob Wilson said: “We are delighted that Brits are returning to Costa Rica and to see how the UK has moved from last year’s travel restrictions to becoming Costa Rica’s largest source market in Europe at the moment. 
“This is especially important bearing in mind that direct flights from the UK to San Jose, the country’s capital city, don’t run all year round at present.”
In total, Costa Rica welcomed 1,223,764 worldwide visitors between January and June 2022.


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