A new program of the Costa Rican Tourism Institute (ICT) and the National Institute of Women (INAMU) seeks to create safer environments for women travelers. It is the SOFIA Network, which will achieve its objective by promoting gender equality in the national tourism industry, preventing violence against women and creating safer environments for those who travel alone.
The Minister of Tourism, Gustavo Segura, explained that the initiative is designed for all women who work directly and indirectly in tourism, and for tourism companies in the country. “The network is the first distinctive with a gender perspective in the Costa Rican tourism industry. Companies that join the program will be trained and become promoters. A visible seal in their establishments will identify the companies committed to the program,” said Segura.
SOFIA Network Operation
The course to obtain the seal is open to all companies and people who provide a tourist service or product. In the case of companies, they must have a physical or legal identity card, and at least 80% of their staff must take the course to join the program, as well as use the seal and be part of the network. The validity of the course is 2 years and to receive it, interested persons must register through this link or through the email [email protected].
Institutional interest to invest efforts in the tourism industry
Marcela Guerrero, Minister of the Status of Women, explained that in times of pandemic, it is of institutional interest to invest efforts in the tourism industry and its speedy recovery, “aware that it is an important sector that is made up of businesswomen and female collaborators”.
As part of the program, the institutions presented a “Guide to good security practices in tourist operations”, which gathers a technical basis that tourism service providers can put into practice during their operation to increase the safety of their visitors.