Member Spotlight: Tourism Kingston Visitor Information Centre

Located in the unique and historic city of Kingston, Ontario, The Tourism Kingston Visitor Information Centre is certified Bronze with GreenStep Sustainable Tourism. Continue reading to learn more about their journey towards sustainability:

Tell us a bit about your business. What makes you different?

Located in the heart of downtown Kingston, near the shore of Lake Ontario, the Visitor Information Centre (VIC) helps visitors make the most of their time in our beautiful city. Serving as the hub for all things Kingston, the VIC offers informational brochures, tour tickets, Kingston merch, and local artists’ work. Our staff is multilingual and can serve you in English, French, and Mandarin. They take pride in providing personalized recommendations to those seeking an authentic, local experience in Kingston.

Why is sustainability important to you/your business?

The VIC places significant importance on sustainability due to our commitment to the triple bottom line approach to tourism. We recognize our responsibility to engage in tourism practices that consider environmental, social, and economic outcomes. Our goal is to give visitors meaningful and authentic experiences while also positively impacting the local Kingston community. By prioritizing sustainability, we aim to fulfill our duty to create a more responsible and diverse tourism destination.

Why did you join GreenStep Sustainable Tourism?

We made the decision to join the Sustainable Tourism program because we recognized the need for expert support in assessing our current practices and developing effective strategies to enhance our sustainability efforts. By taking the Sustainable Tourism 2030 Pledge and joining Sustainable Tourism, we have been able to develop a sustainability action plan and take concrete steps towards improving our sustainability practices.

What sustainability related projects, policies or initiatives do you most want travelers to know about?

We recently removed our plastic water bottle fridge and replaced it with a free water bottle refilling station. In doing so, we joined the BlueW program, an online directory of restaurants, businesses, and public spaces that provide access to clean drinking water. Visitors are now encouraged to bring their own reusable water bottle and fill up at the VIC to stay hydrated and reduce their single-use plastic waste.

What are some goals and/or actions you plan to take in the future to further increase the sustainability of your business?

We hope to measure the carbon footprint of our operations, to better understand how we can reduce our environmental impact over time. We are also creating a Green Team within our staff to support sustainability initiatives, events, and programming and to integrate sustainability information into our interactions with visitors.

To learn more about Tourism Kingston Visitor Information Centre – visit: visitkingston.ca