Manic Monday – Universal Accessibility a topic we take seriously…

Midnight Musings from our CEO

If you have been following our efforts on Destination Sustainability you will already be well aware that a key pillar of this initiative is Universal Accessibility; particularly as it relates to helping ensure we are creating tourism experiences that can be enjoyed by all visitors including those with ability challenges.

To assist us in making this objective a reality, we are very pleased to welcome Sonja Gaudet to the TOTA team.  Sonja has joined us in the role of Accessibility Specialist; a position that is jointly funded by TOTA and Spinal Cord Injury BC as well as being strongly supported by Access BC.

Sonja will be working with our industry and communities to help educate and make recommendations on how tourism operators and related experiences can welcome guests with various levels of access requirements. This work enables not only those with short- and long-term injuries better enjoy the region but considers those traveling with babies and small children as well as the growing seniors population that may have needs beyond what our businesses currently provide for.

We could not be more excited than to have Sonja spearhead this initiative. A three-time gold medalist in Paralympic curling, she has had to face the reality of dramatic changes to her own mobility after a fall from a horse left her with severe spinal cord injuries that would ultimately alter the course of her life. Motivating, inspirational and engaging, Sonja is willing to take on what the world presents with charm and grace. Her enthusiasm for life is palpable and her desire to assist those who want to live a fully engaged life, an example of her strong character.

Please join us in welcoming Sonja Gaudet, helping us all take Universal Accessibility seriously.

For more on Sonja’s story go to

Sonja Gaudet (photo: Curling Canada)


A Few Highlights from this Week’s News Centre…

 Why should you register for this year’s Summit? Not only has it been a full year since we have been together to discuss the trends and direction that tourism is going but a lot has happened in the past 12 months including new and proposed taxes including changes to the MRDT,  regional effects of natural conditions including flooding, fires and smoke and our ongoing work on our Sustainability initiatives including community support, stakeholders adhesion commitments, indigenous product development and our work in promoting universal access in conjunction with Access BC.  Join us November 13th & 14th (read more).  As an ongoing part of our Annual Summit, we will once again feature the talents of our amazing future tourism professionals in the “Winning Pitch”. Sponsored by go2HR, they are actively seeking tourism mentors to assist the students in their drive to win this year’s event. Read more for information on how you can get involved.

 Read all of this week’s News Centre stories at

Keep following and contributing to 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.  Be sure to use #route97 and #explorebc when posting your tourism shots and stories.

All News