As Kermit the Frog famously observed, “it’s not easy being green.” The sentiment is applicable to endangered amphibians as much as the millions of Canadians who are making the necessary daily effort to reduce their environmental footprints through practical actions and conscious decisions.
Likewise, the majority of tourism operators and staff in the Vancouver Island region are committed to being part of the solution, at the very least through simple reduce, reuse and recycle workplace habits. It matters for the planet. It makes sense on the bottom line. And a new generation of visitors expect no less. In fact, six in ten international travellers surveyed by the Canadian Travel Commission indicated they were prepared to pay a small premium for environmentally friendly travel products.
Tourism Vancouver Island supports Canada’s Code of Ethics and Guidelines for Sustainable Tourism, established in 2005 by the Canadian Tourism Commission, Parks Canada and the Tourism Industry Association of Canada. The code promotes triple bottom-line practices that balance economic objectives with respect for our natural, cultural and social heritage. It also acknowledges that living up to these principles requires action from a full range of players – tourism services and businesses, local governments, marketing organizations and travellers themselves.
We encourage stakeholders to continue to green their businesses to the best of their ability as time and budget allow. Please bookmark the following essential documents and share with staff members. And by all means tell your clients about the steps you’re taking to protect the Island’s rare and precious ecosystem for this and future generations.
Green Your Business: Toolkit for Tourism Operators
A compendium of hundreds of practical tips applicable in tourism businesses, especially small and medium-size enterprises.
Best Practices Manuals
The US non-profit Renewable Energy in Tourism Initiative has produced best-practices guidebooks for six industry sectors, including accommodations and adventure tour operators. Learn how to maximize energy efficiency, minimize environmental impacts and generate cost savings through real-world case studies.
Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria
Sustainability guidelines for hotels, tour operators, destination specialists, managers, communities and tourism businesses from the United Nations’ Global Sustainable Tourism Council. Destination marketing organizations are invited to apply for GSTC Early Adopter certification and join a select group of trendsetting DMOs the world over. Also available: Consumer tips for responsible travel.
Other sites of related interest:
- Recycling Council of British Columbia
- Leave No Trace: BC Parks
- Whale Wise: Fisheries and Oceans Canada
- Bear Aware: BC Conservation Association
- Cougar Safety Guidelines: BC Ministry of the Environment
- Recreational Freshwater Fishing: BC Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations
- BC Sports Fishing Guide & Freshwater Salmon Supplement: Fisheries & Oceans Canada