Costa Rica Promotes Local Development Through Tourism

    “Tu-MoDeLo” an initiative that identifies market opportunities in the tourism sector

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    Tourism, Local Development Engine -Tu-MoDeLo- is an initiative that identifies market opportunities in the tourism sector for sustainable agricultural and fishery products adapted to climate change. With this action, it is wanted to demonstrate that the Costa Rican tourist industry is an engine of well-being and development in the local agricultural communities.

    Tu-MoDeLo is possible through a concerted and inter-institutional effort through a public-private partnership between Fundecooperación, the Costa Rican Tourism Institute -ICT-, the Costa Rican Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, local tourism associations and a dozen others private sector institutions and partners.

    Tu-MoDeLo is an initiative aimed at improving the lives of agricultural communities through the identification of market opportunities in the tourism sector for sustainable agriculture value chains adapted to climate change.

    The initiative is possible thanks to the public-private partnership in which the Costa Rican Tourism Institute, ICT participates, together with Fundecooperación, the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock of Costa Rica, as well as local tourism associations and a dozen other institutions and private sector partners. Together they work to secure market opportunities for local producer groups that connect the supply of sustainable agricultural products with the growth of the tourism industry.

    With this project, it is demonstrated that the tourism sector is an engine of local well-being, by generating employment and economic growth that improves the life of local communities vulnerable to climate change and is committed to the potential of tourism as a conservation engine and generation of means sustainable living in rural landscapes.

    The key activities of the project are mapping tourist regions with the potential to become local markets; select value chains, as well as locate and list current suppliers; strengthen business capacities among producers; facilitate access to financial resources; encourage the demand for local and sustainable products among tourism companies and sign commitments with sustainable suppliers; and involve the tourist to generate demand with establishments with a sustainable commitment in their philosophy and operations.

    A little history

    Tourism-Motor of Local Development (Tu-MoDeLo) began its journey in January 2019, with an initial implementation period of three years, until 2021, the year in which the impacts are being evaluated to extend its activity two more years.

    The North Zone and the North Pacific (Guanacaste) in Costa Rica were selected as the pilot regions to begin said implementation with the plan to expand to other regions of the country. Currently, more than thirty companies from both areas have joined the project, with the consequent impact on production and local development.

    Since the beginning of the project, the baseline is being measured to define specific objectives and monitor progress in terms of sales of sustainable agricultural products, number of producers and families benefited, increased commitments with suppliers that work sustainably by participating tourism companies, participation of young people and women, and implementation of adaptation actions to climate change.

    Sustainable Development Goal

    In general terms, the initiative contributes to the advancement of Costa Rica’s efforts aligned with the following Sustainable Development Goals (SDG): eradicate poverty (SDG1), provide sustainable food (SDG2); provide quality jobs and generate economic growth (SDG8), particularly for women (SDG5) and youth; promote sustainable consumption and production practices (SDG12); adaptation to climate change (SDG13); protection of life in marine and terrestrial ecosystems (ODS14 and ODS15); and creation of strategic alliances for sustainable development (ODS17).

    Specifically, improving the lives of agricultural communities through the identification of market opportunities for sustainable agricultural products in the tourism sector is the main objective of Tu-MoDeLo.

    Wide-ranging objectives

    The project is also aimed at improving coordination among key institutions in order to provide the necessary assistance to achieve the objectives of this initiative; enhance sustainable production practices and entrepreneurial skills of climate-smart agricultural producers; increase demand for sustainable local agricultural products in tourism companies; consolidate distribution mechanisms to connect the supply of sustainable agricultural products with the demand of tourism companies and increase the access of consumers to information about companies with sustainable commitments in their operations and philosophy.

    Tu-MoDeLo is the result of a public-private alliance between Fundecooperación para el Desarrollo Sostenible, the Costa Rican Tourism Institute, ICT, and the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, local tourism associations, institutions and partners from the private sector, with the support of Adata2 +, Adaptation Fund, MINAE, Directorate of Climate Change and Friends of Costa Rica.

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