A total of 175 women tourism entrepreneurs from all regions of Costa Rica actively participated in an interactive training meeting, organized as part of the Foreground program of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and led by the Costa Rican Tourism Institute (ICT).
Precisely this program was created by the UNWTO for the empowerment of women in tourism, during the economic recovery in the context of COVID-19. It stands out that Costa Rica was selected by said organization as one of only four countries in the world to develop this program, along with the Dominican Republic, Mexico (which replaced Egypt) and Jordan.
The Costa Rica Convention Center served as the venue for the participants, all tourism business entrepreneurs -mostly SMEs and artisans-, to receive training and knowledge from specialists from the UNWTO Department of Ethics, Culture and Social Responsibility, an expert from the private sector of UN Women, as well as the success stories of other businesswomen from the private tourism sector.
Likewise, during the work sessions, a panel was held on the challenges, keys and opportunities for women in Costa Rican tourism, in addition to participatory presentations by experts on other topics of interest such as the financial sustainability of the business, how to manage a business, effective recommendations to sell an idea or product and even a networking space was created for the participating businesswomen to generate future opportunities and business networks.
A source of pride
“For the ICT it is a source of pride to continue advancing in gender equality, a fundamental element that is part of our tourism model, created to improve the quality of life in all corners of the country. When we talk about sustainability, it encompasses more than the economic and environmental, it also includes the social and to achieve sustainable development, gender equity is required in all areas of the tourism industry and we reiterate this commitment”, said William Rodríguez, Minister of tourism in the opening act of this event.
The event was attended by representatives of the World Tourism Organization, including Marina Diotallevi, Director of the Department of Ethics, Culture and Responsibility of the UNWTO expressed her gratitude and highlighted the tangible efforts of Costa Rica in terms of gender equality in the Costa Rican tourism industry.
The closing ceremony and activities were attended by Adilia Caravaca Zúñiga, Executive President of the National Institute for Women (INAMU) and Cindy Quesada Hernández, Minister for the Status of Women, who applauded the broad participation.
Women in the foreground
As highlighted by the ICT, the tourism companies participating in the Primer Plano program will implement a one-year action plan with a series of concrete measures aimed at increasing the possibilities of empowering women in the Costa Rican tourism industry.
In addition, with the development of this interactive training meeting, the global objectives of the program are achieved, such as training and governance with a gender perspective, as well as support in training activities, monitoring in the implementation of the action plan, coupled with support for the dissemination of the project results and finally raising awareness about the empowerment of women in tourism. The UNWTO Foreground program, in addition to the leadership of the ICT, has the support of UN Women, the GIZ and German Cooperation.