April 22, 2021 Prince George, BC – To commemorate World Earth Day, Northern BC Tourism Association (NBCTA) today signed a letter of commitment to pursue a Responsible Tourism Institute Biosphere certification; an international designation that aligns with 17 sustainable development goals of the United Nations.
NBCTA joins three other regional destination management organizations (Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association, Kootenay Rockies Tourism Association and Tourism Vancouver Island) who, together with the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association (TOTA), operate under the umbrella of the BC Regional Tourism Secretariat, officially declaring their application. If successful, they will join TOTA which is among only 34 destination management organizations in the world, and the only one in Canada, to achieve this status.
Not to be confused with UNESCO Biosphere Reserves, this certification is based on established standards in areas that include climate change, environment, social, economy and culture – and guarantees compliance and continuous improvement through a private, voluntary and independent certification system – which is evaluated on an annual basis. The certification allows a region to demonstrate how they take sustainability seriously, but also ensures they are accountable to make necessary and ongoing improvements.
"Today is an important day for Northern BC," says Clint Fraser, CEO of Northern BC Tourism Association.
"NBCTA's commitment to the Biosphere Tourism Certification will advance our work on the UN Sustainable Development Goals for the northern bc tourism sector, assist with positioning our region as a sustainable destination, and continue to support enhancing quality of life for northern BC residents."
NBCTA’s is committed to sustainable tourism practices while implementing the 10-year Destination Development Plans for Northern BC. NBCTA is launching free access to sustainability assessments for businesses, which will assess current state, offer benchmarking and a customized action plan for tourism businesses in Northern BC. For more information about these assessments visit: travelnbc.com/sustainability
For information about the Biosphere certification, visit: https://www.biospheretourism.com/en
About the Responsible Tourism Institute:
The Responsible Tourism Institute (RTI) has been leading the contribution of tourism to Sustainable Development for more than 20 years. The mission of the RTI is the promotion of the principles of the World Charter for Sustainable Tourism and all the guidelines and precepts on Sustainable Development promoted by United Nations.
About Northern BC Tourism Association:
Northern BC Tourism Association (NBCTA) works to develop, support, and sustain the tourism sector in northern BC and is one of five regional destination management organizations in the province. NBCTA is a non-profit association led by a board of directors elected by industry, and works collaboratively with industry partners including; tourism operators, The Ministry of Tourism Arts, Culture, and Sport, Indigenous Tourism BC, Destination BC, local governments, and Indigenous communities, to advance the tourism sector and enhance resident quality of life throughout the northern BC region.
About the BC Regional Tourism Secretariat:
The BC Regional Tourism Secretariat (BCRTS) is a collaboration between five regional destination management organizations (Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association, Kootenay Rockies Tourism Association, Northern British Columbia Tourism Association, Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association, and Tourism Vancouver Island) representing more than 8,000 tourism businesses and organizations. The BCRTS is leading a ground-up approach so local voices and knowledge shape programs and compliment local and regional tourism strategies. This focus is also reflected in destination development to help tourism operators offer the most desirable and sustainable tourism experience for visitors.
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