- Training for local guides will start in December
- Works in progress to incorporate the sector to ICT categorization manuals
The plan designed for the enhancement of the Communitarian Rural Tourism has achieved relevant progresses during this year. This was stated by Allan Flores, General Manager of the Costa Rica Tourist Board (ICT), who announced the creation of the Communitarian Rural Tourism Net, in collaboration with other organizations of the sector.
“The consolidation of Communitarian Rural Tourism is a way of dynamizing local economy, improving family incomes in rural areas, making tourism sustainable and developing communities with a great potential, many of them currently considered as depressed areas of the country,” said Allan Flores.
The General Manager pointed out that, as a result of the declaration of public interest, one of the first measures taken by this year the government in order to enhance the activity is to offer better opportunities to small and medium tourist enterprises operating in the rural field.
A data base was initially created, including 28 enterprises that have been evaluated and supported to be able to choose the ICT tourist declaration. This status provides the enterprises with greater benefits in the technical consultancy access, training and support in marketing the products they offer. Currently, 14 of these associations are in the process of obtaining the Tourist Declaration and other 14 are making arrangements in order to comply with the declaration conditions.
The evaluations have determined a need for consultancy and training in areas such as business management, customer service, product innovation, marketing, logistics, association development and quality ensuring.
The need is significant in issues such as geography and natural history of guides, English language and food manipulation. As a consequence, the ICT, along with the INA (National Learning Institute), will start in December a course all over the country for 80 local guides, coming from rural tourism companies registered in the data base.
Moreover, the ICT is working with its technicians in adapting categorization manuals to include rural tourism. Technical arrangements will take into account areas such as personalized client service, organization and operations of communitarian companies, cultural and environmental values of local communities as important points to reach product suitability and, thus, the differentiation of Costa Rican tourist product.