TOTA News Release | Driving Sustainability – A Natural Choice

The Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association (TOTA) is pleased to announce the launch of a new sustainability initiative for regional tourism stakeholders and communities that will continue to put emphasis towards responsible tourism development practices, upholding our region’s commitment to its importance.

During the Central Okanagan Tourism Industry Showcase, a collaborative event between Tourism Kelowna, the District of Lake Country, Destination Peachland, and the City of West Kelowna, TOTA unveiled its next steps in the region’s “Drive for Sustainability”. Attendees were provided an overview of the recent Thompson Okanagan Biosphere Certification as a sustainable tourism destination, and were invited to participate in the Biosphere Adhesion program, an industry initiative designed for regional tourism stakeholders to be recognized under the Biosphere certification.

First to make their commitment to the program was Tourism Kelowna, whose President and CEO, Lisanne Ballantyne sees alignment of the program with the organization’s legacy of positive impact through partnerships. “The visitor economy is vital to economic development in our region but with that comes recognition of the need for responsible tourism development,” says Ballantyne. “Biosphere certification provides a sustainable plan for our tourism businesses and stakeholders to actively participate in a collaboration and commitment to long-term stewardship of our destination while providing visitors with authentic, remarkable experiences.”

Myra Canyon Ranch and Adventure Park were quick to join the Biosphere Adhesion initiative. As a tourism stakeholder operating as a small business in Kelowna, Myra Canyon Ranch immediately saw the benefits of aligning with an internationally recognized sustainability accreditation. Owner and operator Kathrin Von Andrian believes “it is a great opportunity to be a part of something that is so important to the future direction of our industry and has the potential to further connect our region”

For more information regarding the Biosphere Initiative please visit: totabc.org/biosphereadhesion

Creating Pathways for a Sustainable Tourism Industry

  • Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association (TOTA) is the first region in the America’s to achieve Biosphere Certification Designation
  • Glenn Mandziuk, President and CEO TOTA launches Biosphere Certification Adhesion Program
  • Tourism Kelowna makes their commitment to the Biosphere Certification

Boilerplate: The Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association (TOTA) is one of five regional tourism organizations representing BC. Our mission is to support the ongoing growth and sustainability of the Canadian tourism industry by establishing Thompson Okanagan Tourism as a champion of excellence and innovation in destination marketing, engagement, and industry development. Biosphere is a Sustainable Tourism System certified by the Responsible Tourism institute, an international accreditation body affiliated with the United Nations World Tourism Organization and is a member of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council.

About Tourism Kelowna: Working on behalf of over 380 local businesses, Tourism Kelowna is the lead destination marketing organization for the Central Okanagan generating overnight visitor demand that economically benefits Kelowna and its neighboring communities. In 2016, over 1.9 million visitors came to Kelowna and area and spent $337 million dollars. Overall, our local tourism industry contributes over $1.25 billion in total economic output and provides nearly 12,000 jobs and generates $142 million in tax revenues

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