What’s new in business?

December 3, 2010

It’s Good to Go Green

Costa Rica’s Greentique Hotels is giving Rainforest Alliance supporters a special deal: 25 percent off reservations at any of three top-notch hotels across Costa Rica.

Greentique Hotels include Sí Como No in Manuel Antonio, Aguila de Osa Inn at Drake Bay, and Villa Blanca, in San Ramón, Alejuela.

Greentique Hotels will also donate 5 percent of guests’ total accommodation costs to the Rainforest Alliance, and guests will receive a one-year Rainforest Alliance membership.

“We are thrilled that the Rainforest Alliance and Greentique Hotels have joined forces to promote sustainable tourism,” said Ronald Sanabria, vice president of tourism at Rainforest Alliance.

“By making one of these stunning properties their next vacation destination, travelers will have an unforgettable experience while also benefiting local communities, the environment and the Rainforest Alliance’s work around the world,” he said.

The Rainforest Alliance’s sustainable tourism program helps tourism professionals develop more sustainable business practices.

Initiatives include implementing ecosystem and water conservation measures, reducing energy use, supporting local economies, hiring from within the community and reducing costs. Tourism operations that have been verified by the Rainforest Alliance, certified by independent, third-party programs or recommended by reputable organizations are featured on the Rainforest Alliance’s recently launched website, www.sustainabletrip.org.

To participate, visit www.greentiquehotels.com/ra and use promotion code GTQHRA101.

Peace, Love This Holiday Season

Cayuga Sustainable Hospitality, a company that manages hotels, lodges and tourism projects in Latin America and the Caribbean, is offering a remedy for the “Black Friday Blues” this holiday season: instead of worrying about boring gifts, give your friends and loved ones – or yourself – a vacation in some of the best locations in the world.

Six Central American sustainable hotels are offering a buy-one-get-one promotion this holiday season. For every night booked at any of the six hotels before Dec. 20, the company will give a free night’s stay.

The hotels included in the deal are: Costa Rica’s Lapa Rios Ecolodge (www.laparios.com), Latitude 10 Resort (www.latitude10resort.com), Arenas Del Mar Beachfront and Rainforest Resort (www.arenasdel mar.com), Harmony Hotel (www.harmonynosara.com) and Finca Rosa Blanca Coffee Plantation and Inn (www.fincarosablanca.com); and Jicaro Island Ecolodge (www.jicarolodge.com) in Nicaragua.

“Since sustainable tourism is all about giving back, we figured this was the perfect time to offer travelers the gift of an experience,” said Cayuga CEO Hans Pfister.

For more information, contact Pfister at hans@cayugaonline.com.

Auto Mercado Now in Tres Ríos

For the second time this year, supermarket chain Auto Mercado is opening the doors of a new store, this time in Tres Ríos, east of San José. The new grocery store opens Dec. 3.

Built at a cost of $1.8 million, the Tres Ríos store will hire 120 new employees, mostly from the surrounding community. That brings the total of Auto Mercado’s new hires this year to 250. Across the country, the supermarket chain employs about 2,100 workers.

Shoppers can choose from 1,800 different grocery items imported from 13 countries, 50 types of fresh-baked bread, organic items and specialty products for shoppers with diabetes, gluten allergies and other needs.

“Tres Ríos is an area that Auto Mercado didn’t have a presence in, but it’s an area where our type of customers live,” said Diego Alonso, vice president of sales, in a company statement. “With this store, we’ll have three locations east of San José.”

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