Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association wins World’s Responsible Tourism Award

Prestigious prize bestowed at World Travel Awards on Dec. 1 in Portugal

The Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association (TOTA) was declared winner of the prestigious World’s Responsible Tourism Award at the 25th annual World Travel Awards (WTA), held on Dec. 1 in Lisbon, Portugal.

“We, as a tourism industry, need to take a strong leadership role to ensure our destination — which we all call home — is not negatively impacted by its developments and activities,” said Glenn Mandziuk, the president and CEO of TOTA. “The honour of our association and our region receiving this important international recognition shows we are on the right track with our collective focus on responsible and sustainable tourism.”

TOTA is a not-for-profit society which represents business and community tourism interests throughout the region. The award was accepted by Glenn Mandziuk; Frank Antoine, TOTA Chairman of the Board; and Ellen Walker-Matthews, TOTA VP Destination & Industry Development. The WTA Grand Final Gala Ceremony 2018 took place at Lisbon’s historic Pátio da Galé.

Since its establishment 25 years ago, WTA has become the international benchmark for recognizing excellence in the travel, tourism and hospitality industries. Voting is conducted online by tourism industry professionals around the world.

Related: Okanagan tourists undetered by smoke

This most recent honour follows TOTA winning the WTA North America’s Responsible Tourism Award in September and the World Travel and Tourism Council’s Tourism for Tomorrow Award in April, in addition to numerous other commendations this year.

“Such positive outcomes do not happen without a great deal of help and leadership,” said Mandziuk. “Without the support of Destination Canada; BC Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture; Destination BC; the community; non-governmental organizations; corporate partners; and our 4,500 industry tourism stakeholders; this recognition would not be possible.”

In late 2017, the Thompson Okanagan Region officially achieved Biosphere Certified Destination accreditation from the Responsible Tourism Institute, in partnership with the Global Sustainable Tourism Council and the UN World Tourism Organization. The designation showcases that the Region is both undertaking and committed to the 17 sustainability development goals (SDGs) set out by the United Nations and the World Tourism Organization.

The Thompson Okanagan attracts more than four million visitors annually generating over $2.2 billion in direct revenue, making tourism the region’s top economic driver. It is TOTA’s aim, through the focus on Responsible Tourism, to ensure that for decades to come, the region will have a healthy and sustainable economic, social, environmental, and cultural future.

The region’s many accolades are, to a significant degree, the result of the Embracing Our Potential strategic program, which launched in 2012. This 10-year regional tourism strategy has an aim to maximize the benefits of the region’s popularity, while simultaneously protecting its natural, cultural, social, and economic heritage.

To date, individual actions under the strategy have included the installation of more than 1,000 electric-car charging stations at key tourism locations; the establishment of Human Resources, Indigenous Tourism and Accessibility Tourism strategies and Specialists; a series of free online webinars to help local tourism stakeholders operate more sustainably; regional rail trail initiatives; and usage of “Big Data” to market and attract visitors at the right time, to the right locations, with the right commitment to the future protection and understanding of the region, and much more.

The Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association can be found on Twitter and Face, as well as on their own website at totabc.org. For more information about the World Travel Awards, you can visit their website at worldtravelawards.com.

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.


@PentictonNews
newstips@pentictonwesternnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

EDITORIAL: Managing wildfires

Wildfires have the potential to cause significant damage within our province

Peach Fest celebrates royalty with cruise

The Peach Fest Queen and Royalty made an unannounced cruise down Penticton’s Main Street

Okanagan, Creston cherry and apple farms in need of workers

The worker shortage is due to the COVID-19 restrictions on international travel

‘It’s just my job’: Off-duty Peachland paramedic saves choking girl downtown Penticton

Family vacationing in Penticton assisted by off-duty paramedic, who helps save 13-year-old

Opening night lineup for online Roots & Blues festival released

The first night of the festival on Aug. 14 will be stacked with favourites from previous years

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

North Okanagan ranch needs support to stay afloat

Founded in 1867, a fundraiser has been launched for the Historic O’Keefe Ranch

Video: Enraged man terrifies staff and customers at Shuswap restaurant

Video on Facebook shows the man hurling profanity at workers during the dinner rush on Aug. 7.

Pup stolen from Vernon temporary shelter reunited with owner

Nicola Sanders says her son’s puppy was ‘overjoyed’ to see her owner again

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

Number of Kelowna-linked COVID-19 cases grows to 159

Interior Health reported four new cases region-wide on Friday, 18 remain active

Gene editing debate takes root with organic broccoli, new UBC research shows

Broccoli is one of the best-known vegetables with origins in this scientific haze

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

Most Read