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Luxury Resort in Costa Rica Gets Eco-CertifiedJune 7, 2010 By: Joe Pike
Sustainable Travel International (STI) recently announced that Tabacón Grand Spa Thermal Resort in Arenal, Costa Rica, has achieved its Luxury Eco Certification Standard (LECS), becoming the first hotel in that country to pass the intensive on-site inspection and receive this distinction.
With sustainable tourism on the rise, Leading Hotels spearheaded a new partnership between STI and Leading Quality Assurance (LQA)— a joint venture of Leading Hotels that specializes in quality assurance, benchmarking and training to the luxury hospitality industry.
In order to become LECS certified, hotels must undergo a preliminary desk audit, complemented by an on-site, third-party assessment handled by LQA. The process of becoming LECS eco-certified is challenging and requires a serious commitment on behalf of the hotel applicant. Perhaps principal among them is the fact that two underground reservoirs provide all of the hotel’s water— both hot and cold— eliminating the need to use any other energy sources for heating or cooling it. The hotel also has in place significant practices for conserving water and electricity, and recycling a variety of materials.
In addition to engaging vigorously in staff training, the hotel offers guests opportunities to support its sustainability initiatives through tree-planting projects, contributions to the local community development fund, and making local products and handcrafts available for sale in its shops.