For Immediate Release
November 20, 2019
Kelowna — The Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association (TOTA) is excited to announce the launch of its Regional Pledge, which provides the framework for sustainable tourism in the region for all visitors. The pledge was announced at the International Indigenous Tourism Conference on November 14, 2019.
Signatories of the Pledge included representatives from the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada; Ministry of Tourism, Arts, and Culture; Destination British Columbia; Indigenous Tourism British Columbia; Tourism Industry Association of British Columbia; Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association; Shackan Indian Band; Xeni Gwet’in First Nation; Tourism Kamloops; Tourism Kelowna; Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association; Tourism Vancouver Island; Northern BC Tourism Association; Kootenay Rockies Tourism; Big White Ski Resort; as well as a youth representative from Kelowna.
“The signing of the Regional Pledge is more than an announcement of intent; it is a commitment to the Seven Affirmations for Seven Generations,” says Mandziuk. Those affirmations are a part of the Seventh Generation Principle, which reminds us that the decisions we make today should result in a sustainable world, generations in the future. “The steps we take today will have an impact now, and long term, for generations to come.”
“I am honoured to witness the adoption of the Seven Affirmations for Seven Generations pledge, and I applaud Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association for their continued leadership in sustainable tourism management,” said Minister of Tourism, Arts & Culture Lisa Beare. “As part of our provincial tourism framework, we are committed to working with the tourism sector to develop and adopt common sustainability policies and practices. This pledge is a great example of alignment between regional and provincial objectives to foster responsible visitor travel.”
“As we enjoy the unprecedented growth of Indigenous tourism, sustainability guidelines are essential to preserve authentic cultural experiences for future generations,” said Brenda Baptise, chair of Indigenous Tourism BC. “The Thompson Okanagan Regional Pledge benefits First Nations land and culture, while ensuring the actions taken today help to protect the development of the Indigenous communities of tomorrow.”
The Regional Pledge was conceived as part of the larger sustainable tourism mandate the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association has prioritized over the last several years. Through a lengthy consultative process that involved international tourism, academic and indigenous stakeholders, the philosophies of respectful, authentic travel in the region, visitors, tour operators and residents alike were integrated into a comprehensive pledge document.
To learn more about the Seven Affirmations for Seven Generations, please go to thompsonokanagan.com/pledge
To support the pledge, TOTA has created a video to inspire both visitors and residents to make a commitment to the Thompson Okanagan. With a strong, emotional storyline set against the scenic backdrop of the region, the video aims to connect with viewers by encouraging them to ensure our destination can be enjoyed for generations to come.