The growing need to protect the vulnerable environment in the heavily visited tourist area of Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica was the stimulus to jump start the Hotel Byblos Resort’s commitment to achieving the Sustainable Tourism Certification (CST) they were recently awarded by the Institute Costarricense de Tourism (ICT).
“The development of sustainable tourism must be seen as the balanced interaction between the use of our natural and cultural resources, the improvement of the quality of life among the local communities, and the economic success of the industry, which also contributes to national development. Sustainable tourism is not only a response to demand, but also an imperative condition to successfully compete now and in the future.” (Official Definition of Sustainable Tourism, CST, 1997)
Having spent more than two years training hotel staff, modifying installations and operations of the hotel, changing water and electricity policies, educating visiting guests, launching community projects and recycle initiatives, Byblos has since standardized and streamlined the in-house recycling processes. An almost complete redesign of the hotel’s waste management practices and extensive implementation of “Green or Eco-Friendly” practices throughout the hotel as well as within the local communities of Quepos, Manuel Antonio and the Canton of Aguirre, has enabled Hotel Byblos to successfully achieve the first step of their Sustainable tourism goals.
“Though we have thus far only achieved the minimum number of ‘leafs’ awarded in the CST (Certified Sustainable Tourism) program, our goal is to learn, grow and expand our efforts over the next year”, stresses Director of Marketing, Kimberly Barron. “For a 25 year old hotel, we have made great strides in trying to reduce our overall carbon footprint and show our commitment to the environment. We freely acknowledge that we have much more to learn and do to earn further leaves in the CST program, so we will not be sitting back satisfied with how far we have come.” added Ms. Barron.
Sustainability seeks to meet the current demands of society without compromising the rights of future generations to meet theirs. That is to say, the development of Costa Rica cannot be based on the unbalanced exploitation of resources (natural, cultural, social, etc.) to meet the demands of society (food, housing, health, employment) because these are the only resources we have, and that future generations have, to meet our and their own needs, as specified by the director of the CST program, Mr. Alberto López Chaves.
Not an easy certification to achieve, the National Accreditation Commission is comprised of the Costa Rica Tourism Institute, the Ministry of the Environment and Energy, the National Institute of Biodiversity, the University of Costa Rica, the Central American Institute of Business Administration, the National Tourism Chamber, the Earth Council and the International Union for Conservation of Nature, so “qualifying to be a member of this prestigious program is not a walk in the park” comments Hotel Byblos General Manager, Ronaldo Barsallo.
Hotel Byblos Resort (bybloshotelcostarica.com) invites all travelers or likewise environmentally conscience folks to join us in the daily goal to lessen their carbon footprint. More information can be found on our specific environmental efforts to save and protect Costa Rica’s biodiversity on our website or feel free to call or visit the hotel and we would be happy to give you a personal tour.
Let us all help make a difference in the World by practicing valuable conservation habits in not only our daily lives, but while living and visiting the beautiful country of Costa Rica, so we can pass this beauty on to the next generation and show our love for Mother Earth.