Tourism is not just about sun and fun anymore.
Glenn Mandziuk, president and CEO of the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association, says their have been successful in broadening the appeal, with various programs.
“We’ve established Indigenous Tourism Programs that are actively engaging 33 Indigenous communities across the region in developing different artisan programs,” Mandziuk tells Beach Radio News.
He says another example is installing over one thousand electric charging stations at tourist attractions throughout the region.
“We’re going after a different market place, one that wants to buy electric vehicles.”
Mandziuk says becoming the first region in the America’s to achieve biosphere certification a few years ago helped establish the region as a world leader.
In recognition, TOTA has been awarded North America’s Responsible Tourism Award at the 2018 World Travel Awards in Jamaica.
Mandziuk says consumers want to come to a destination that respects its environment, culture and social systems.
“To ensure that we have good code for women in the workplace, women’s equality, addressing some challenges that perhaps most destinations wouldn’t even consider to look at.”
Mandziuk says it’s a way to broaden the region’s appeal to tourists, and to attract more people in the shoulder seasons.
“We know that the consumers out there that are growing, want to come to a destination that respects its environment, culture, and our social and economic systems, so that we don’t loose it for future generations.”
The recognition comes on the heels of another international accolade, with TOTA winning the Tourism for Tomorrow Destination Award at the World Tourism and Travel Council’s Global Summit in Argentina earlier this year.
Photo: Frank Antoine (TOTA Chair) and Glenn Mandziuk (TOTA President & CEO) with the award for North America’s Responsible Tourism 2018