What is Regenerative Tourism?
With the world slowly waking up from a prolonged period of reduced travel, the tourism sector is at a critical juncture. The choices we make now will significantly influence the future of our planet and its people. One choice stands out – a choice that puts the planet and its people first – regenerative tourism.
Regenerative tourism goes beyond sustainable travel. It’s about actively contributing to the health and prosperity of our environment and the communities we interact with, leaving places better than we found them. It’s about ensuring our footprints leave the world a better place. At Nayara Resorts we are leading the way with two-pillared approach that focuses on both environmental and socio-economic factors.
Natural Environment: Reforestation in the Costa Rican Rainforest
Located in the heart of the rainforest, Nayara Resorts in Costa Rica have an intimate relationship with nature. But this is not just a story of coexistence – we have taken proactive steps to contribute positively to our natural surroundings with a massive reforestation effort.
Nayara Tented Camp, the final addition to our family of resorts in Costa Rica, used to sit on a barren cattle ranch without a single bird or shrub to speak of. We took it upon ourselves to bring the rainforest back to this desolate landscape, and so we planted hundreds of indigenous trees and plants creating a habitat for countless wildlife in the process. This included dozens of crecopia trees, a sloth favorite, that turned our resort into a veritable sloth sanctuary. But creating a habitat for wildlife was just the first step. After a rigorous multi-year effort, we were able to become fully carbon neutral. We calculate and offset all our greenhouse gas emissions so you can enjoy and preserve nature at the same time.
Investing in People, Empowering Communities
Regenerative tourism isn’t just about environmental stewardship. It’s about ensuring that the benefits of tourism are shared equitably with local communities, so for tourism to be truly sustainable, it must address social issues and promote societal well-being.
We provide hundreds of employment opportunities, fair wages, and professional development for residents, promoting economic stability and growth. The majority of our team comes from the neighboring town of La Fortuna de San Carlos. We offer them free transportation, sustainable tourism education, and health services. Some of our additional local initiatives include free early education for our employees’ children, volunteer time and financial support to Hogarcito de Ninos, a local orphanage, and support for local artists.
However, the initiative that we’re most proud of is our new housing project. In La Fortuna there’s a housing crunch due to an influx of Airbnb rentals and rising property costs, so we decided to build subsidized housing for Nayara staffers, many of whom are single moms. But unlike most, we don’t use this as an employee retention tool. Staff will have access to this housing whether they remain Nayara employees or not.
The Future of Tourism is Regenerative
Nayara Resorts is leading the way in regenerative tourism, showing us that it is possible to combine luxury with responsibility and pleasure with purpose. The future of tourism is not just about seeing the world, it’s about changing it for the better. As we venture out into the world again, let’s choose to travel regeneratively, leaving each place better than we found it. The planet and its people will thank us.