CCCTA pursues sustainable biosphere destination certification

Spirit bear. (Destination BC/Yuri Choufour photo)Spirit bear. (Destination BC/Yuri Choufour photo)
Fraser River near Rudy Johnson Bridge. (John Wellburn photo)Fraser River near Rudy Johnson Bridge. (John Wellburn photo)
Great Bear Rainforest. (Jesaja Class photo)Great Bear Rainforest. (Jesaja Class photo)
Indigenous interpreter Mike Restaket at Barkerville Historic Town Park. (Tyler Cave photo)Indigenous interpreter Mike Restaket at Barkerville Historic Town Park. (Tyler Cave photo)
Junction, Sheep Range Provincial Park. (Destination BC/Grant Harder photo)Junction, Sheep Range Provincial Park. (Destination BC/Grant Harder photo)
Kayanara Guest Ranch near Canim Lake. (Destination BC/Black Jorgenson photo)Kayanara Guest Ranch near Canim Lake. (Destination BC/Black Jorgenson photo)
South Chilcotin Mountains. (Eco Escape Travel photo)South Chilcotin Mountains. (Eco Escape Travel photo)
Xwisten Experience Tours at Lillooet. (Eco Escape Travel photo)Xwisten Experience Tours at Lillooet. (Eco Escape Travel photo)
Mitchell River at Quesnel Lake. (Geoff Moore photo)Mitchell River at Quesnel Lake. (Geoff Moore photo)
Amy Thacker, CEO of the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association (left) and Kristi Denby, CCCTA Biosphere Project Manager, sign the Biosphere Letter of Commitment. (Geoff Moore photo)Amy Thacker, CEO of the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association (left) and Kristi Denby, CCCTA Biosphere Project Manager, sign the Biosphere Letter of Commitment. (Geoff Moore photo)
Amy Thacker, CEO of the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association (left) and Kristi Denby, CCCTA Biosphere Project Manager, sign the Biosphere Letter of Commitment. (Geoff Moore photo)Amy Thacker, CEO of the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association (left) and Kristi Denby, CCCTA Biosphere Project Manager, sign the Biosphere Letter of Commitment. (Geoff Moore photo)

To commemorate World Earth Day, the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association (CCCTA) formally committed to fostering a more sustainable visitor economy as it works to rebuild the post-COVID-19 tourism economy.

Tourism stakeholders from throughout B.C., and even abroad, gathered virtually April 22 to mark the signing of the Biosphere Letter of Commitment.

Amy Thacker, CEO of the CCCTA, said the signing solidifies a long-term commitment to achieving the internationally recognised Responsible Tourism Institute’s Biosphere Certification.

“We’re very excited to be working on this,” Thacker told the Tribune. “They [Responsible Tourism Institute] will identify areas of excellence and gaps, which allows us to work with different partners in the region to set common objectives and goals, and to find resources to invest in projects and initiatives.”

In embarking on this journey, she said the CCCTA looks forward to building collaborative new partnerships, setting new strategic goals and objectives to support stewarding and regenerating the region’s tourism assets, supporting responsible growth of the sector to ensure a sustainable equilibrium between the socio-cultural, economic and natural environment.

At the heart of this is inclusion and ensuring residents, local businesses, Indigenous Nations, communities and the region thrive today and into the foreseeable future.

“Today demonstrates a commitment of the long-term values upheld by the CCCTA,” Thacker said. “Both the board and team have long led with sustainability at the core of decisions, programs and practices so it is fitting to sign this public declaration recognizing the efforts of so many, including our regional partners.”

The CCCTA is joining three other regional destination management organizations (Tourism Vancouver Island, Kootenay Rockies Tourism Association and Northern BC Tourism Association) who, together with the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association (TOTA), operate under the umbrella of the BC Regional Tourism Secretariat, officially declaring their commitment to pursue the Biosphere Certification, granted by the Responsible Tourism Institute.

READ MORE: Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism ends 2020 focused on future

If successful, the CCCTA will join TOTA, which is among only 34 destination management organizations in the world, and the only one in Canada, to achieve this status.

Thacker said the certification is based on established standards and targets aligned with the United Nations 17 sustainable development goals 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.

“Signing this declaration acknowledges progress towards Biosphere Sustainable Certification,” shared Andre Kuerbis, Chair of the CCCTA.

“On behalf of the board of directors, we commit to supporting responsible growth of the tourism sector in our region while being inclusive of all residents, embracing our heritage, including Indigenous peoples and cultures. This will guarantee the role of tourism to promote both sustainable tourism practices and development, while enhancing the visitor experience and creating awareness among visitors on sustainability issues as we look towards recovery.”

During Thursday’s signing, cultural ambassador Frank Antoine, the co-founder of Moccasin Trails in Kamloops, reminded those in virtual attendance of the urgency of abiding by the agreement in working together for the sustainable future of the tourism industry.

“COVID-19 actually made us all stop and listen, and that’s our Creator, our higher power, telling us to slow down and think about our decisions,” Antoine said. “It’s giving us the opportunity to grow again together, and that really means a lot to me.”


 


greg.sabatino@wltribune.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

The first Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine dose in Canada is prepared at The Michener Institute in Toronto on Monday, Dec. 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
One death, 39 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

There are 484 active cases of the virus in the region currently

The District of 100 Mile House office. (File photo)
Tax rate for 100 Mile residents dips slightly

Average house assessment up, tax rate down

While the initial deadline for the 2021 Canadian Census has passed, there’s still time to complete it online or by mail. (Melissa Smalley photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Census underway across country

Local workers distributing census package to rural areas

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
65 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Overall, B.C. is seeing a decrease in COVID-19 cases

Cariboo Chilcotin MLA Lorne Doerkson speaking in the legislature Monday, May 10. (Video screen shot)
Cariboo Chilcotin MLA calls for rural infrastructure renewal fund

Lorne Doerkson said central parts of rural B.C. devastated by flooding, crumbling infrastructure

B.C. Labour Minister Harry Bains in the B.C. legislature, May 13, 2019. (Hansard TV)
VIDEO: B.C. to provide 3 days of sick pay for COVID-19 absences

Province will support employers on cost, labour minister says

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, April 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 rate creeps up again, 600 new cases Wednesday

One more death, 423 people in hospital with virus

B.C. Agriculture Minister Lana Popham takes questions in the B.C. legislature in 2017. (Hansard TV)
UPDATE: B.C. will fund another year of fresh fruit, vegetables, milk in schools

John Horgan government working on school meal program

Surrey RCMP is releasing sketches of a suspect in an “indecent act” at the Coyote Creek Elementary playground on April 30, 2021. Police said the suspect was clean-shaven “during some interactions” and on “other occasions had stubble outlining a goatee and mustache.” (Images: Surrey RCMP handout)
Vancouver mayor-elect Kennedy Stewart addresses supporters in Vancouver on Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver mayor says there’s no time to redo details of drug decriminalization plan

Kennedy Stewart says a federal election could see the small window of opportunity close on the city’s bid for an exemption from criminal provisions on simple possession of small amounts of drugs

Premier Mike Horgan received his first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. (Facebook/John Horgan)
More than 50% of people eligible in B.C. have received 1st vaccine dose

‘We’ve made extraordinary progress together over the past few weeks,’ says Premier Horgan

Brad MacKenzie, advocacy chair for the ALS Society of B.C., says having research projects in the province allows people here to have access to cutting-edge treatments now being developed. (B.C. government video)
B.C. funds research chair for Lou Gehrig’s disease at UBC

Pandemic has cut off patient access to international projects

In this Monday, March 15, 2021 file photo a vial of AstraZeneca vaccine is pictured in a pharmacy in Boulogne Billancourt, outside Paris. Questions remained Wednesday about the future of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine in Canada, as Manitoba limited use of the shot and Ontario announced it planned to save an incoming shipment to use as second doses. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Christophe Ena, File
Questions remain about the future of the Oxford-AstraZeneca shot in Canada

More than two million Canadians have received AstraZeneca and 17 have been confirmed to have VITT

Most Read