Unique honour for Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association

TOTA adopted into international sustainable tourism institute

The Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association is about to earn global recognition.

At TOTA’s annual general meeting in Kamloops on Wednesday, the association will be officially accredited by the Responsible Tourism Institute.

RTI director Patricio Azcarate Diaz de Losad will make the presentation to TOTA president and chief executive officer Glenn Mandziuk.

TOTA, which represents the tourism industry within the Thompson Okanagan region while also assisting with the implementation of provincial tourism policies, is the first association in the Americas to receive this accreditation.

The Responsible Tourism Institute was born after a conference in 1975 about sustainable tourism, sponsored by UNESCO.

RTI promotes tourism models that directly contribute to effective maintenance and promotion of a destination’s cultural and historical heritage in a sustainable development.

RTI says the world is witnessing an unprecedented growth in tourism.This growth not only affects consolidated tourist destinations but also refers to the huge number of emerging destinations that arise on the planet and also expresses an eruption of new motivations and ways of traveling.

Holiday destinations, particularly in coastal areas, are mobilizing a substantial percentage of that growth demand. For example, sun and beach destinations have grown 39 per cent between 2007 and 2014, currently accounting for 29 per cent of tourism option preferences.

The RTI says tourism generates one of every 11 jobs created worldwide, 284 million direct jobs in 2015, and contributes overall to 9.8 per cent of the world’s Gross Domestic Product.

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barry.gerding@blackpress.ca

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