CCCTA works for green tourism

The Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association is tackling the issue of reducing carbon emissions from tourism activities and supporting a sustainable industry.

  • Aug. 12, 2011 6:00 p.m.

The Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association is tackling the issue of reducing carbon emissions from tourism activities and supporting a sustainable industry.

The Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association (CCC) is pleased to introduce a new program – Green Tourism Canada (GTC) – that will help tourism operators in the region reduce their carbon footprint and become more sustainable. Following a pilot project funded by the B.C. government last year, Green Tourism Canada launched a national certification program which will help both industry and consumers better understand how to reduce their impact and to operate more sustainably.

“We are delighted to announce that three tourism businesses in our region have been successful in achieving a green award,” said Thacker. “This is an exciting milestone as we continue to develop this program and help make BC a leader in sustainable tourism.”

The first operators in the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast region to be certified by Green Tourism Canada are: Siwash Lake Ranch, gold; The Hills Health Ranch & Spa, Silver; Cariboo Chilcotin Jetboat Adventures, bronze.

“At Siwash Lake Ranch, we are honoured to have been awarded a gold certification by GTC and we’re proud to set an example for other tourism operators hoping to achieve both growth and a low environmental footprint,” shares Allyson Rogers, owner of Siwash Lake Ranch. “Our clients are excited about the work we do and want to support other businesses that show innovation and leadership in supporting the needs of our planet.”

The Green Tourism Canada program provides education and training to all types of tourism operators – from beginners wanting to figure out their carbon footprint and to find out about becoming more sustainable, to those who have been working on this for years and who seek acknowledgement for their efforts and better access to a market of evermore discerning “green” travellers.

“Sustainability of health and nature are primary focuses at The Hills Health Ranch & Spa,” says president, Pat Corbett. “It has been a pleasure to work with GTC on the common goal of green tourism and we hope to see others from the region get involved.”

Through ongoing support and education, Green Tourism Canada provides a roadmap in sustainability for operators to follow.

Program participants enjoy cost savings and operating efficiencies as well as brand lift, improving their reputation and competitive advantage. GTC promotes greater employee engagement, which improves productivity and staff retention. Certified operators also enjoy new marketing opportunities through increased exposure.

The Green Tourism brand is a well known and respected standard and will provide travellers with a clear and credible signpost to sustainable tourism products in the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast region.

“It is exciting to see the development of Green Tourism covering all types of tourism businesses, in remote and wilderness areas as well as urban centres,” said Amy Thacker, CEO of the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association.

“Our region has outstanding natural and cultural assets; Green Tourism Canada can play a leading role in their sustainable use. We’re hoping this program will encourage all of us to make the necessary steps towards a more sustainable future.”

In the upcoming weeks we will be conducting a survey to determine specific areas of interest and are collecting expressions of interest – so, if you are a tourism operator and would like more information or, if you already know you would like to be included in this program, please send an email to amy@landwithoutlimits.com.

The Green Tourism Canada program is owned by UK-based Green Tourism Business Scheme (GTBS), the largest and most established third-party certification program of its type in the world. With over 13 years experience delivering sustainable tourism certification programs and having conducted over 6000 assessments, today GTBS has over 2300 GTBS certified operators in the U.K.

Designed for all types of tourism and hospitality businesses, including accommodation providers, visitor attractions, activity providers, and restaurants, Green Tourism Canada conducts on-site business assessments, providing the industry with third-party certification aligned with international standards (ISO14001) and the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria.

For a full list of Green Tourism Canada certified operators in BC, go to: www.greentourismcanada.comFor more info: Green Tourism Canada Charlie James: charlie@greentourismcanada.com; Tel: (604) 813 2557; Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association, Amy Thacker: amy@landwithoutlimits.com; Tel: (250) 392 2226

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