Costa Rica Social Tourism Project:
In Costa Rica, social tourism is established as a universal right that guarantees access to rest, leisure, leisure and free time for socially and economically vulnerable segments of the population.
Therefore, in 2018, the Costa Rican Tourism Institute created the “Social Tourism with Integrity Program”. It intends to encourage citizen participation in social and accessible tourism through the involvement and strengthening of alliances between the living forces of the communities.
The program has enabled many vulnerable populations to experience tourism through national projects and public and private activities.
Currently, it has 36 tourism companies, foundations, NGOs and public organizations, which develop programs, projects and activities to improve the quality of life of citizens, validating the right of every human being to leisure and recreation through tourism according to the principles of inclusion and accessibility.
For example, Mangrove Hotel, Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve, Tabacón Hotel, FuncaTV, Unique Adventures, UNED: School of Social Sciences and Humanities, Occidental Tamarindo Hotel, Polo Turístico Papagayo, Arenal Adventure World, Costa Rica Adapted Surfing Association, Hotel Villa Lapas , Rosa Blanca Farm, Fiesta Resort Hotel, Il Viaggio Travel and Cala Lodge are all involved.
“Social tourism is a way to provide vulnerable populations with opportunities to enjoy tourism, recreation and recreation. Social tourism opens the doors to everyone to enjoy our country.
For us it is important to be part of the program to make our work visible and reach more and more people,” said Natalia Vindas, Adapted Surfing Sports Association for the inclusive development of surfing for people with disabilities.
The program involved projects from companies and organizations located in the seven provinces of Costa Rica, benefiting children, youth, the elderly, people with disabilities, low-income families, cancer survivors and indigenous populations.
In addition, the project is based on three pillars: inclusion, solidarity and accessibility. The population that benefited from this initiative has very different social, economic, physical and psychological conditions. These people have different needs but the same right of access to leisure.
The alliances generated within the various programs and institutions promote a spirit of collaboration and integration of the communities. This allows the socially vulnerable population to enjoy a recreational experience and to feel included.
People with Disabilities are also included in the program, as the provision of optimal services is encouraged. For example, accessibility is promoted in services, products, signage and communication. The idea is that no one is left behind.
Although there are still many areas for improvement and much work to do, Costa Rica is well on its way to consolidating a tourism model that embraces everyone and has a positive impact on society.