In alignment with Tourism Kelowna's 2022-2025 Strategic Plan and our Stewardship Pledge, our organization continues its work to foster the sustainable growth of our destination. All aspects of sustainability—environmental, social, and economic—are at the forefront of the stewardship work our team coordinates and executes.
Read on for information about some of the stewardship initiatives and certifications achieved by our organization.
- Partnering with Tourism Kamloops, Tourism Vernon, Travel Penticton, and Destination Osoyoos to create Travelling Out in the Thompson Okanagan, a collaborative marketing campaign to attract visitors from the 2SLGBTQIA+ travel market and to showcase the importance of being an inclusive, diverse community supported by Destination BC's Coop Program.
- Welcoming an Appointed Director representing Westbank First Nation to our 2023-24 Board of Directors.
- Installing additional solar panels the roof of the Kelowna Visitor Centre, bringing the total number of panels to 78, to generate a percentage of the building’s energy needs.
- Updating the Bandwango Passes to assist in dispersing visitors throughout Kelowna. Learn more and sign up for the #exploreKelowna Passes here.
- Releasing the collaborative Tourism Destination Development Plan, aligning with our Strategic Plan and guiding our work to shape the visitor economy in a way that positively impacts all stakeholders from residents to visitors.
- Signing a Memorandum of Understanding with Kelowna Pride to formalize the work our two organizations have been doing for many years.
- Adding an accessibility module to Tourism Kelowna’s website to effectively deliver content to more audiences.
- Launching the #exploreKelowna Creator Program and Local Love for Kelowna series to share fresh and diverse perspectives from residents through our digital communication channels.
- Completing an internal audit from Bakau Consulting that established a baseline of where Tourism Kelowna is and provided recommendations on how to move forward in creating a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive organization. While the audit was focused on internal processes and procedures, recommendations for some outward-facing tactics including website improvements, social media post recommendations, and more were also provided.
Training & Education
As part of our 2022 AGM, we hosted our Tourism Industry Forum, where Tourism Kelowna Members and industry stakeholders could attend educational sessions, including the following sessions with a stewardship focus or component:
- Destination Development Deeper Dive
- Workplace Hiring with go2HR
- Sustainability with GreenStep Solutions
Our team also recently completed a familiarization tour focused on exploring Kelowna via public transit; this will assist our Community Specialists and volunteers in having more knowledge when promoting transit use for people visiting Kelowna.
Additional Initiatives and Certifications
- Tourism Kelowna remains a Committed Entity of the Biosphere Program, thereby aligning our organization to the United Nation's 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
- Our team has completed a number of stewardship initiatives at the Kelowna Visitor Centre (KVC), which include:
- Achieving Platinum Certification through the Sustainable Tourism Program in 2021.
- Receiving accessibility certification through the Rick Hansen Foundation in 2020.
- Partnering with One Tree Planted so that every online or in-person purchase of retail products results in one tree being planted in British Columbia.
As a member-based organization, we will also be providing further opportunities for our members to benefit from our stewardship-focused work. We are working on more stewardship-related sessions and workshops, so stay tuned to our Industry News Centre (be sure to subscribe to our weekly email if you haven't already) for more information as additional details are announced.
For more information about Tourism Kelowna's Stewardship Committee, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (250) 861-1515 ext. 216.