Midnight Musings from our CEO
33 years ago, and specifically 33 years ago on this day May 29th, my family relocated from Dauphin, Manitoba to Osoyoos. My father had suddenly realized that he could be a hotel owner where the winters were long and the weather harsh or a resort owner in a much warmer part of Canada, thus we were on the move. A lot in this region has changed since 1984, particularly for those in the tourism industry and much of it has been for the better. While there is a lot of work to be done, we are maturing into a remarkable tourism destination that not only continues to attract the domestic drive markets but more and more we are realizing an increase in international guests. Our deepening visitor experience is at the core of this growth as we become steadily less and less reliant on summer sun and fun seekers, instead attracting visitors with much broader interests who are discovering the immense diversity of the region. Mountain ranges and lakes to the semi-arid desert, vineyards and orchards to grasslands, rock climbing and cycling to kayaking and snowshoeing, downhill and cross-country skiing to golfing and angling…..it is an area that truly has it all.
As the world begins to fall in love with this region it is imperative that we collectively create a roadmap to ensure that growth does not come at the expense of our natural beauty and fragile ecosystems. One of the steps that TOTA is taking toward the protection of our environment and the sustainability of our tourism industry is through the creation of a Charter of Sustainability. To this end, late last week we announced our agreement with The Responsible Tourism Institute in Spain. This internationally recognized body will work with us in the coming months to evaluate our destination’s sustainability practices and assist us in gaining accreditation for the region through their Biosphere program. Our long-term goal is to continue to drive the tourism economy in a responsible manner helping to ensure the long-term success of our industry stakeholders and the protection of our natural assets for further generations. Tourism for tourism sake is not the goal…and not every visitor is a visitor we want….a strong vibrant tourism sector for the long term with the right guest enjoying the right experiences at the right time.
The Responsible Tourism Institute hereinafter referred to as RTI, is a founding member of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC), international accreditation body, and an affiliated member of the World Tourism Organization (WTO). RTI promotes tourism models that directly contribute to effective maintenance and promotion of a destination’s cultural and natural heritage. Its goal is to promote sustainable development within the tourism industry while encouraging the employment of each destination’s intrinsic capacities.
A Few Highlights from this Week’s News Centre…
This region has long been renowned for bird watching and the new public viewing platform at the Vaseux Lake is definitely going to be a great new option for the public (read more); check out the biodiversity project being undertaken in the South Okanagan as part of their Canada 150 activities taking place June 9 and 10 (read more); Lights …. Camera ….and more Action as this month we welcome award-winning Aboriginal Filmmaker Allan Hopkins who will be in the region filming “Indian Road Trip” in the Merritt/Nicola area (read more).
Read all of this week’s News Centre stories at news.totabc.org
We hope you keep following and contributing on TOTA’s Facebook and Twitter sites throughout the week; send us your stories, photos, events and remarkable experiences. Make sure the industry knows what is happening around our region and be sure to use #route97 and #explorebc when posting your tourism shots and stories from around the region.
REMINDER: please send us your 150 Celebrations activities and events to firstname.lastname@example.org