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.

Just Posted

Soup Bowls Project raises over $20,000 for Penticton Art Gallery

Attendees had over 200 bowls and plenty of delicious soups

Summerland Festival of Lights will have entertainment three stages

Organizers anticipate 12,000 to 14,000 people to attend event to launch festive season

Four Penticton residents celebrating their 100th birthday

They shared some of their stories and advice on living well

Award-winning artist Belle Plaine coming to the Dream Cafe

Belle Plaine and the Vultures have multiple shows next week in the Okanagan starting in Penticton.

Penticton United Church welcomes Makers’ Market Nov. 23

From baking, to knitting, to toys and everything in between, get your Christmas shopping done early

Investigation ongoing after shots fired in North Okanagan

RCMP have no updates from Nov. 1 incident

Kamloops woman sues Armstrong IPE for Slingshot mishap

Woman claims ride gone wrong caused injury, loss of wages and other damages

UPDATED: Vancouver Island’s Joe gets suspended sentence in Teddy the dog cruelty case

Melissa Tooshley expected in court on Thursday in same case

Alleged drunk driver survives crash into Kettle River

The crash happened Saturday near Grand Forks

Woman ‘horrified’ after being told to trek 200 kilometres home from Kamloops hospital

‘I can’t get from Kamloops back to 100 Mile House injured, confused… no shoes, no clothes whatsoever’

Canadian universities encourage exchange students in Hong Kong to head home

UBC said 11 of its 32 students completing programs in Hong Kong have already left

Midget no more: Sweeping division name changes coming to minor hockey in Canada

Alpha-numeric division names will be used for the 2020-2021 season and beyond

Duncan man gets suspended sentence in Teddy the dog cruelty trial

Joe also gets lifetime ban on owning animals

B.C. pushes for greater ‘transparency’ in gasoline pricing

Legislation responds to fuel price gap of up to 13 cents

Most Read