Having been recognised for its unparalleled dedication to sustainability by the World Journey Awards, Breaking Journey Information right here chats with Glenn Mandziuk, chief govt of the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Area, to seek out out extra
Breaking Journey Information: Congratulations – the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Area has been honoured with North America’s Responsible Tourism Award on the World Travel Awards. How does it really feel to have received?
Glenn Mandziuk: On behalf of myself the board of administrators and our whole workforce on the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Affiliation we’re extraordinarily honoured that the Thompson Okanagan Area has as soon as once more be recognised in North America for our dedication to sustainability.
By no means earlier than within the historical past of tourism have we confronted the challenges which have been caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, nonetheless, it is just highlighted the necessity for our trade to work collaboratively on the long-term success and sustainability of the sector.
We recognize and thank the World Journey Awards for recognising the devoted work of our affiliation and area for the third yr and may guarantee you that we’ll be persevering with our efforts to maneuver ahead and construct again higher extra sustainable tourism trade for the long run.
BTN: That is the third successive yr the area has taken the celebrated title – what’s it that you simply try this separates you from rivals throughout North America?
GM: One of many main areas separating our work in tourism sustainability from others in North America is the effort and time that has been dedicated to the administration and stewardship of the area.
We started this focus in 2009/2010 embarking on a ten-year regional technique, the primary of its form in North America.
The technique – entitled ‘Embracing Our Potential – took 18-months to finish and engaged stakeholders in 90 communities and 33 indigenous communities across the area.
Finally launched in 2012, it outlined a transparent path ahead for your entire area.
Underpinning each strategic course within the doc was the stakeholders expressed want that sustainability be on the forefront of any actions.
In March this yr, after an 18-month overview of the unique technique, we launched the up to date ‘Embracing Our Potential 2.0’ constructing additional on the unique doc.
Having these methods in addition to a transparent mandate from our stakeholders, communities, and governments has ensured that every one of our efforts and actions are effectively outlined and that there was and is an unwavering dedication to sustainability.
This has additionally continued to information and help our efforts us because the outset of the Covid-19 pandemic offering the organisation with a transparent course on the trail ahead to greatest help our tourism stakeholders.
BTN: How helpful are the World Journey Awards trophies in the case of selling the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Area to a world hospitality market?
GM: The World Journey Awards has enabled the Thompson Okanagan Area to have a presence on a world stage that would not have been achieved by conventional advertising and marketing and promotional avenues.
Not solely has it enabled us to talk on to markets that might have been unaffordable for us to achieve in any other case, but it surely has additionally supplied the chance to inform our story and converse on to the kind of customer that we wish to entice to this area based mostly on our sturdy values and deal with sustainability.
As we begin towards constructing again tourism and the long run, will probably be extra vital than ever that the appropriate guests are drawn to this area, that they perceive their potential impacts each optimistic and damaging, and that they recognize and respect the vital function that sustainability performs all through the Thompson Okanagan
BTN: Thompson Okanagan Tourism Area itself will likely be welcome the World Journey Awards North America Gala Ceremony in 2021. What function can occasions similar to this play in serving to the area overcome the affect of Covid-19?
GM: Whereas we had been very a lot wanting ahead to welcoming the World Journey Awards to our area this fall, we’re hopeful that we’ll be collectively once more in 2021, and that having gone by these unprecedented occasions we may have gained a good higher respect for each the significance and fragility of our world and our trade.
All of us anxiously await the day that we are able to as soon as once more expertise the various cultures and historical past of neighbours worldwide, nonetheless, this pause has additionally enabled us the chance to rethink journey and experiences and to work more durable to protect them for futures generations to proceed to take pleasure in.
Occasions such because the World Journey Awards can help all areas globally in recognising these which are striving to create a greater world of tourism, one which values and awards these making a distinction within the trade.
The awards have the flexibility to focus on the achievements of our collective measures of our resiliency and of our potential to rethink how we current ourselves as an trade.
Understanding and appreciating that our success should be measured by greater than revenues and variety of travellers, however our potential to coach others and protect all of the wonders that make the most effective journey experiences and guarantee their longevity.
The Thompson Okanagan Tourism Affiliation represents a various space in western Canada, stretching from Christina Lake and the Shuswap to the east, Cache Creek and Princeton to the west, Mount Robson within the north and Osoyoos within the south.
Discover out extra on the official website.
Picture: Tom Ryan