Tourism Kelowna is pleased to announce it is one of six recipients worldwide to receive a 2023 Meaningful Tourism Award. Winners were announced during the QTM Qatar Travel Mart in Doha in late November, with two winners from Europe, two from Asia, and one each from North America and Africa.

Each winner represented a category, including:

  • Visitors
  • Host Communities
  • Employees of Service-Providing Companies
  • Service Providing Companies
  • National, Regional and Local Governments
  • Environment for Future Generations

The award was received based on Tourism Kelowna’s new tourism strategy, which broadens the organization’s mandate to focus on a holistic destination management approach.

“Tourism Kelowna is proud to be recognized for this award as we continue to rethink tourism,” says Lisanne Ballantyne, President and CEO of Tourism Kelowna. “It is especially gratifying as it shows that our work, and Kelowna’s Tourism Destination Development Plan, are aligned with the global trend to destination management, where the tourism industry works together with the community to benefit visitors and locals in a sustainable manner.,”

The two major initiatives highlighted were the Kelowna Visitor Centre, which now serves over 200,000 visitors annually, more than ten times the number of visitors at its old location. The accessible and centrally located centre also serves as a community event space and hosts a retail program for local and Indigenous artisans to sell their creations.

The second initiative is the creation of the Destination Development Plan, which supports and manages the development of the tourism industry in close collaboration with the City of Kelowna, stakeholders, and resident groups. The strategic framework was built on three pillars: Transition Together, Raise Resilience, and Enhance Experiences. Information on the plan and pillars can be found here

The Meaningful Tourism Center is a network of organizations based in Hamburg, Germany, supporting efforts and initiatives towards tourism development, which provide quality, benefits, and satisfaction for all stakeholders involved. This is the second year the awards have taken place. To see the full press release on the awards, please click here.

For more information, contact Shereen Abbas, Travel Media & Communications, at