Midnight Musings from our CEO
By all accounts, the Tourism Industry Conference held in Victoria was another great success, congratulations to TIABC and all of those that worked tirelessly to host this important industry event.
I was personally unable to attend the meetings last week but TOTA had tremendous representation by way of our Chair, Frank Antoine; Vice-Chair, Michael Ballingall; Director, Beverley DeSantis; and our Accessibility Specialist, Sonja Gaudet, who was also a presenter in one of the workshops. Thank you to all of them for representing the region so well and a special mention to Tourism Kamloops on winning the Innovation Award and Ogopogo Tours for receiving the Leading Accessibility Award!
I was also very appreciative to hear that the Federal Minister Melanie Joly and Provincial Minister Lisa Beare both took the time in their addresses to the delegates to recognize the work that the Thompson Okanagan Region and the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association has undertaken in the past several years in moving forward with a Responsible and Sustainability Destination Management Strategy.
Finally, we were very pleased that the BC Tourism Ministry Framework is founded on developing the industry in a sustainable way and understand that Destination BC, under the direction of Marsha Walden, is moving forward the concept of Destination Stewardship and embracing the 17 Sustainable Development Goals outlined by the UNWTO for the Province. Well done! This literally speaks directly to our work as a region. We believe strongly that protecting and managing our natural and cultural assets, today, and creating a thoughtful and planned approach to tourism for the future is not only timely but imperative.
We embrace the opportunity to work closely with the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Destination BC, the other Regional DMO’s and the Communities in moving this Provincial mandate forward. Never has it been more important than it is now to work together.