Transforming Tourism – Protecting biodiversity and increasing local value creation by promoting sustainable tourism development in three pilot destinations in the Dominican Republic and Costa Rica

The project supports three certified destinations in Costa Rica (Sarapiquí and Sarchí) and the Dominican Republic (Las Galeras) as models for sustainable development and biodiversity through a destination management strategy. The focus is on the implementation of zero waste, sustainable gastronomy and eco-efficiency concepts as well as on the development of innovative, high-quality sustainable tourism products for the international travel markets.

The goals of the project:

  • Transformation of the tourism industry towards an economy of common good by promoting biodiversity, climate protection and local value creation
  • Strengthening local competencies, local networks and governance structures
  • Development and marketing of biodiversity friendly travel products
  • Contribution to Sustainable Development Goals 8, 12, 13, 14, 15, 17

Project activities include:

  • Qualification, learning in practice and empowerment
  • Development of destination strategies
  • Implementation of pilot projects in the fields of „zero waste“ and „sustainable gastronomy
  • Integration of local farmers, food and other producers and micro-enterprises in sustainable supplier network
  • Certification of sustainable restaurants and food services
  • Development and positioning of new high-quality travel products in collaboration with international tour operators
  • Transfer and dissemination of the innovation concept to other tourism destinations

This project promotes and protects biodiversity and the environment in the three destinations and makes an active contribution to climate protection in strong travel destinations. The integrated development of the destinations contributes to poverty reduction for the local population and ensures that human rights are guaranteed and fulfilled along the tourism value chain. Due to the corona pandemic, local actors are being given additional support in dealing with the crisis.

Project period: 01/2020 – 12/2022
Consortium Partners: University for Sustainable Development Eberswalde (Germany), KATE (Germany), Global Nature Fund (Germany), TourCert (Germany)
Project Coordination Team: Günter Koschwitz, Angela Giraldo, Florian Tögel (KATE); Dagmar Lund-Durlacher, Wolfgang Strasdas, Martin Balas (HNEE); Günter Schäfer, Marion Hammerl (GNF)
External Partners: TourCert, Consejo Turismo Sostenible Las Galeras (República Dominicana), Grupo RBA – TourCert Costa Rica, Asociación Destino Sarapiquí Sostenible, Sarapiquí, Asociación Consejo de Sostenibilidad Destino Turístico Sarchí (Costa Rica)
Funded by: Austrian Development Agency (ADA)