We invite you to come together as a tourism community to learn from everything we've been through and think differently about how we can co-create a vibrant and resilient tourism industry in BC. The BCRTS Tourism Summit 2021 is a joint virtual event, in collaboration with the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC). Attend thought provoking workshops and panels, learn from tourism leaders from around the globe, and network with industry colleagues. The BCRTS Tourism Summit 2021 is open to all tourism stakeholders and GSTC members at no cost.
British Columbia Regional Tourism Secretariat is a collaboration between the following five regional destination management organizations: Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association, Kootenay Rockies Tourism Association, Northern BC Tourism Association, Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association and Tourism Vancouver Island.
The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) is managing the GSTC Criteria, global standards for sustainable travel and tourism;
as well as providing international accreditation for sustainable tourism Certification Bodies.
The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) establishes and manages global standards for sustainable travel and tourism, known as the GSTC Criteria. There are two sets: Destination Criteria for public policy-makers and destination managers, and Industry Criteria for hotels and tour operators. They are the result of a worldwide effort to develop a common language about sustainability in tourism. They are arranged in four pillars: (A) Sustainable management; (B) Socioeconomic impacts; (C) Cultural impacts; and (D) Environmental impacts. Since tourism destinations each have their own culture, environment, customs, and laws, the Criteria are designed to be adapted to local conditions and supplemented by additional criteria for the specific location and activity.
The GSTC Criteria form the foundation Accreditation for Certification Bodies that certify hotels/accommodations, tour operators/transport providers, and destinations as having sustainable policies and practices in place. GSTC does not directly certify any products or services; but provides an accreditation program through its partner ASI/Assurance Services International to accredit Certification Bodies.
Innovation Norway's “CO2rism” is a tool for calculating the CO2 emissions caused by transport of tourists to and within Norway. The user groups of this calculator are businesses and destinations marketers, interested in insights on the emissions generated by the guests they want to attract. This allows Innovation Norway to judge both the potential tourist consumption and the CO2 emissions by combining their tourist consumption calculator with this new calculator on CO2 emissions.
Participants in this session will learn how tourism-related emissions can be measured effectively and be taken into consideration when planning tourist activities at destinations.
Criterion A4 of the GSTC Destination Criteria clearly points out the importance of engagement with the private sector. DMOs should regularly inform tourism-related enterprises about sustainability issues and encourage and support them in making their operations more sustainable. As part of these efforts, a DMO should promote the adoption of sustainability standards and incentivize businesses to achieve certification to verify their claims, such as publicizing a list of sustainability certified enterprises.
Through case studies from destinations around the world, participants will learn how a DMO can better engage the private sector and drive certification in order to make the destination as a whole more sustainable.
Tourism in natural areas is a major part of the global tourism industry however, without proper planning and management of tourism activities, there may be negative environmental impacts such as habitat degradation, over-consumption of water, pollution, waste generation, the introduction of alien invasive species, among others. Visitor management plays an essential role in protecting the ecological sustainability of natural areas, providing funding and business opportunities, and creating an enjoyable visitor experience.
Through case studies from North America, Europe, and South America, participants will learn about strategies for visitor management in natural areas.
While the COVID-19 pandemic has presented tremendous challenges for Canada's tourism industry, it has also created opportunities to develop innovative partnerships, adopt new ways of doing business, and redefine success. In this panel, the leaders of Destination Canada, Destination BC and the Tourism Industry Association of BC will share how their organizations have responded and how they are charting a path forward to support recovery and shape a re-imagined future for tourism.
For destination sustainability to be possible, diversity, equity and inclusion must be cultivated and celebrated within all levels of the tourism industry. Creating diverse and inclusive workplaces are integral to our industry’s ability to remain competitive, drive innovation and maintain relevance. Join us as we speak with industry leaders who are creating change and opening dialogue to foster a visitor economy that represents a wide variety of individuals at all levels.
Now more than ever, the drive for tourism to become a regenerative and restorative industry is at the forefront of most of our efforts. Join tourism operators and industry leaders as they discuss their dedication to sustainable practices and the importance of fostering destination stewardship amongst visitors. Learn about the innovative programs and approaches that BC operators have adopted to create a better tomorrow for residents and visitors alike.
This panel will explore how storytelling and truth telling in tourism can support Canadians and visitors alike to gain a better understanding of Indigenous history and move towards authentic reconciliation.
Discuss and share stories about universal design, access and inclusion, physical literacy, and encouraging full participation in outdoor tourism spaces and communities across BC.
This panel draws on experiences from frontline initiatives and leaders within those initiatives who are advancing research, community development, sport and recreation infrastructure, and consumer information access to identify and create accessible experiences across the tourism sector.
Participate in a conversation about the key priorities to addressing barriers in the natural and built environment to increase access and inclusion in the services, products, and experiences that you have to offer.
Proceeds from the BCRTS Tourism Summit 2021 Silent Auction will be donated to support wildfire relief in BC. We have partnered with Food Banks BC to identify hard-hit communities across BC and we will ensure that all of the proceeds from the silent auction are dispersed evenly among these food banks.
Food Banks BC is the provincial association of food banks and their membership comprises 102 hunger relief agencies throughout British Columbia. They support their members through the provision of resources that assist their efforts to tackle hunger in communities they represent. This is achieved through the distribution of food and financial donations, providing access to training and capacity building programs, networking opportunities, and as a representative voice to speak to the needs of food banks as well as the hundreds of thousands of British Columbians who face ongoing food insecurity.
We intend to raise as much as we can to support residents of communities affected by wildfire and in order to give attendees more time for bidding, the Silent Auction will open 2 weeks prior to the Summit.
Once you register for the BCRTS Tourism Summit 2021, you will automatically receive the links to place your bids once the silent auction opens.
Successful bidders will be notified by email on November 5, 2021.