South Eastern Ontario (RTO9) Awarded GreenStep’s Sustainable Tourism Destination Certification

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – ONTARIO, CANADA – Today, after an eleven month process, South Eastern Ontario announced they have been awarded GreenStep’s Sustainable Tourism Destination Certification by way of a rigorous assessment, review, and verification process. The process requires the destination to assess their sustainability performance across four categories; environmental, socio-economic, natural and cultural, and management using GreenStep’s Sustainable Tourism Destination Standard. The Standard has been formally recognized as meeting the criteria for sustainable destination management by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council, and is in alignment with the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

“Congratulations to Region9Tourism on being the latest RTO to achieve Destination Certification in Ontario through the Advancing Sustainable Tourism in Ontario project. It is an ongoing journey to improve Ontario’s sustainability performance, and we would like to thank Region9Tourism for their dedication and hard work towards developing their action plan and achieving certification, and GreenStep Solutions, a valued partner of TIAO, for their expertise and guidance throughout this process. As we move forward and strive for improvement, working with destinations throughout Ontario, our collective effort will aspire toward the same goal of making our tourism industry regenerative and progressing our sustainability practices for the future. – Carol Greenwood, VP, Operations & Partnerships, Tourism Industry Association of Ontario

Following the destination assessment review, and through the submission of extensive evidence, a team of GreenStep advisors thoroughly evaluated the evidence to ensure acceptability in line with the requirements for Certification. South Eastern Ontario has been awarded a bronze level grading and has achieved the GreenStep Destination Certification designation.  

“We are so thrilled to be taking the next step in our sustainability journey, and are so thankful for our Bronze Certification from GreenStep Solutions. We look forward to using the action plan developed during our certification process to further our organizational practices and assist our regional stakeholders in creating a more sustainable tourism industry across the region.” Bonnie Ruddock, Executive Director, RTO 9

We offer our congratulations to RTO9 on this achievement, by measuring the sustainability performance of their region against 117 criteria, and having their results verified by a GreenStep assessor. The process resulted in a detailed action plan, to support the sustainable development of the tourism industry throughout their region in the coming years. We look forward to seeing their progress as they align with other regions, throughout Ontario, in support of a greater provincial initiative.”  – Jenn Burling, Director of Sustainable Tourism

About GreenStep:
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. GreenStep is the only Canadian-based provider of sustainable tourism certifications that are relevant to all tourism businesses and destinations. For more information, visit www.greensteptourism.com

About RTO9:
RTO 9 is a regional tourism organization that is funded by the Ministry of Tourism, Culture, and Sport. We actively promote tourism for the South Eastern Ontario region and work to support and grow the industry through product development initiatives. Our mission is to Develop results driven marketing and product initiatives to achieve the highest growth of tourism visitation revenues and investment amongst Ontario’s tourism regions.

Contact GreenStep Solutions:
Angela Nagy, President/CEO
GreenStep Solutions Inc.

Contact RTO9:
Bonnie Ruddock, Executive Director
Region 9 Regional Tourism Organization (RTO 9)