KELOWNA, BC CANADA – The Kootenay Rockies region is the first destination to be certified by GreenStep Sustainable Tourism, the first and only Canadian-based provider of tourism industry certifications for both tourism businesses and destinations.
The certification process included an assessment with a GreenStep Assessor who reviewed and discussed with Kootenay Rockies Tourism (KRT), the official Destination Management Organization for the region, their responses to the 117 questions and several hundred indicators that make up the standard. Upon completion of a formal evidence review, KRT achieved Sustainable Tourism Silver Certified Destination.
GreenStep’s Sustainable Tourism Destination standard has recently achieved formal recognition by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC). Prior to recognition, the certification standard went through a rigorous, 18-month long review and revision process to align with the GSTC Criteria for Destinations, UNWTO Indicators of Sustainable Development for Tourism Destinations and the UN Sustainable Development Goals, following global best practices for sustainable tourism destination management.
“Achieving the GreenStep Sustainable Tourism Destination Certification is an important milestone for our regional destination. Our team has been working closely with GreenStep on a number of important destination stewardship initiatives since 2018, including the development of a Sustainability Charter and action plan and the delivery of several programs for our stakeholders. The Certification is based on rigorous international standards, and we are very proud to be the first destination certified and hope many more will follow suit and contribute in making BC and Canada world leaders in sustainable tourism” notes Kathy Cooper, CEO of Kootenay Rockies Tourism.
Said Angela Nagy, CEO of GreenStep Solutions, “We congratulate Kootenay Rockies Tourism for this important achievement in measuring and verifying the sustainability performance of their destination, and for putting in place their Sustainability Charter and action plan to help guide their continued improvement over time.”
Beyond certification, the destination standard has been made available free of charge to any destination management or destination marketing organization that wishes to self-assess and receive a free sustainability score. Those interested can sign up here: https://www.greensteptourism.com/free-sustainable-tourism-score/
For more information about Kootenay Rockies Tourism’s Stewardship efforts and sustainable tourism programs, visit: www.KRTourism.ca
Kathy Cooper, CEO
Kootenay Rockies Tourism
Angela Nagy, CEO
About Kootenay Rockies Tourism:
As one of five not-for-profit destination management organizations within British Columbia, Kootenay Rockies Tourism’s role is to lead, unite, amplify, and advocate. KRT’s innovative programs and strategic investments contribute to a successful and sustainable regional visitor economy in both the near and long-term. Governed by an independent volunteer board of directors, the association represents over 850 tourism stakeholders throughout the region in the southeastern corner of BC.
GreenStep was founded in 2008 to help small to medium-sized enterprises measure and improve their sustainability performance. To date, the organization has worked with more than 3000 businesses and organizations of all sizes, in a variety of industries such as tourism and hospitality, retail, professional services, and manufacturing. Through the Sustainable Tourism Division, GreenStep provides assessments, training, strategy and certifications to tourism businesses and destinations.
This press release can also be found on KRT’s website here.