Midnight Musings from our CEO
This past week felt like a surreal whirlwind of activity. On Monday, I had the true honour of speaking at the Impact Conference in Sustainable Tourism hosted in Destination Greater Victoria.
This event, now in its second successful year, can be credited to the hard work of the conference’s organizational team. Getting to meet and share the stage with CBC’s Quirks and Quarks host Bob Mcdonald was a major highlight I won’t forget.
Midweek, I joined our Board Chair Frank Antoine and TOTA VP Ellen Walker-Matthews at FITUR in Madrid, Spain. Together with our Biosphere Certified Destination partners from around the Globe, we hosted a booth focused on the promotion of Sustainable Destinations and had a number of excellent meetings with the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC). I am also very pleased to share that Visit Barcelona and TOTA have agreed to establish a formal long-term Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and in addition, we signed a MOU with Aldeias Históricas de Portugal. Both of these partnerships are intended to share learnings, best practices, resources, expertise, and research on our pursuit of advancing sustainable efforts.
There were also a couple of other major announcements for TOTA coming out of our week in Madrid, including:
- My appointment as the next President of the Global Biosphere Destination which is both an honour for me personally as well as tremendous recognition for the work of our region
- TOTA being awarded Biosphere Certified Destination GOLD status by the Responsible Tourism Institute. This distinction recognizes not only tourism sustainability developed from the Biosphere certification but the work made to extend this commitment to the tourism companies and services of the destination. The Thompson Okanagan becomes the third destination in the world to receive this recognition
- Finally, I was pleased to be able to present the work we are doing in BC and in the Thompson Okanagan as a keynote address on Smart Destination Management at FITURtech on Friday.
Overall, as I have talked and listened to many colleagues from around the globe, I am increasingly optimistic about the future and the role that Sustainable Responsible Tourism will play.
No question, that was quite a week, and I am certain there are many exciting times ahead this year!
Glenn Mandziuk, TOTA President & CEO
A few highlights from this week’s News Centre…
CanadaStays reports Kelowna in top 10 Canadian destinations
Congratulations to Kelowna which was named as one of the top 10 Canadian vacation destinations by CanadaStay. Read More
TOTA Awarded Biosphere Gold At Fitur
This past Thursday in Madrid Spain at the annual Fitur International Travel Show TOTA was awarded Biopshere Gold Certification. Read More
Swoop is Swooping into YLW
YLW continues to expand routes and carriers with the announcement of Swoop in Kelowna starting this May. Read More